Adolescent Sleep and Cellular Phone Use: Recent Trends and Implications for Research

Sue K. Adams, University of Rhode Island
Jennifer F. Daly, University of Rhode Island
Desirée N. Williford, University of Rhode Island


Adolescent sleep needs range from 8.5–10 hours per night, with older adolescents requiring less sleep than younger adolescents. On average, however, American adolescents receive between 7.5–8.5 hours of sleep per night, with many sleeping fewer than 6.5 hours on school nights. Cellular phone use is emerging as an important factor that interferes with both sleep quality and quantity, particularly as smartphones become more widely available to teens. This review paper has three objectives. First, we will describe adolescent sleep patterns and the effects of sleep deprivation on adolescent physical and mental health. Second, we will describe current trends in technology use among adolescents, making associations to how technology impacts sleep. Lastly, we will discuss some of the methodological barriers of conducting sleep and technology research with adolescents and young adults and offer suggestions for overcoming those barriers. We will also discuss implications for healthcare providers.