we've seen how television viewing has grown to be a near constant before bed, and now we are seeing new information technologies such as laptops, cell phones, video games and music devices rapidly gaining the same status," says Lauren Hale, PhD, Stony Brook University Medical Center. "The higher use of these potentially more sleep-disruptive technologies among younger generations may have serious consequences for physical health, cognitive development and other measures of wellbeing."
Cell phone use, specifically texting and talking on the phone, shows a significant age gap. More than half of generation Z'ers (56%) and nearly half of generation Y'ers (42%) say they send, read or receive text messages every night or almost every night in the hour before bed compared to 15% of generation X'ers and 5% of baby boomers.
Cell phones were sometimes a sleep disturbance. About in one in ten of generation Z'ers (9%) say that they are awakened after they go to bed every night or almost every night by a phone call, text message or email. About one in five of generation Y'ers (20%) and generation Z'ers (18%) say this happens at least a few nights a week.
"Unfortunately cell phones and computers, which make our lives more productive and enjoyable, may also be abused to the point that they contribute to getting less sleep at night leaving millions of Americans functioning poorly the next day," says Russell Rosenberg, PhD, Vice Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation.
Baby boomers are less sleepy than generations Y and Z.
Generation Z'ers and generation Y'ers report more sleepiness than generation X'ers and baby boomers, with the 13-18 year olds being the sleepiest of all. Roughly one in five of generation Z'ers (22%) and generation Y'ers (16%) rate as "sleepy" using a standard clinical assessment tool (included in the poll) compared to about one in ten generation X'ers (11%) and baby boomers (9%).
Generation Z'ers report sleeping an average of 7 hours and 26 minutes on weeknights, about an hour and 45 minutes less than the 9 hours and 15 minute recommended by experts. More than half of 13-18