Current Sleep Medicine Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 135–140 | Cite as

Electronic Media Use and Sleep: a Self-Control Perspective

  • Liese ExelmansEmail author
Sleep and Technology (J Van den Bulck, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Sleep and Technology


Purpose of Review

There has been an exponential increase in publications on the effects of electronic media use on sleep. One of the fundamental questions on this topic concerns the underlying mechanisms: how or why are electronic media affecting sleep? This article aims to refine the existing theoretical framework by considering the role of self-control.

Recent Findings

Prior research identifies self-control processes as part of the answer: we give in to the instant gratification of entertainment media at the cost of sleep. Specifically, media-related self-control failure is likely to (1) delay bedtime and reduce sleep duration and (2) trigger negative cognitive-affective responses that may undermine sleep quality.


This article will review the relationships between self-control, media, and sleep and clarify how media challenge adequate self-control. It argues that a self-control perspective on media and sleep exposes complex media effect processes that warrant different research methods and open up new areas of intervention.


Electronic media Self-control Sleep quality Bedtime procrastination 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Liese Exelmans declares no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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