Science project

Does Watching Television Before Bed Affect Sleep Quality?

  • Do people who watch television directly before bed sleep as well as those who do not watch TV?

Does watching television before bed prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep? This experiment will use sleep quality questionnaires to compare two groups of participants (those who watch TV for one hour before bed versus those who do not watch any TV before bed).

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Approximately 60 adult test subjects
  • Sleep quality questionnaires (eg, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale)
  • Notebook for analyzing results

  1. Ask all of your test subjects to watch TV for at least one hour directly before going to bed at night. Ask your test subjects to be sure that they get their usual amount of sleep each night.
  2. Ask participants to take your selected sleep quality questionnaires around lunchtime the next day.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for three nights.
  4. Next, ask all of the test subjects to refrain from watching any television within two hours of going to sleep at night.
  5. Ask participants to take your selected sleep quality questionnaires around lunchtime the next day.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for three nights.
  7. Evaluate the questionnaires completed by each test subject. Average the scores from their Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index surveys over the 3 days that they watched TV before bed and compare to their average questionnaire score when they did not watch television. Perform the same analysis with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
  8. Analyze the results. What percentage of test subjects report an improvement in quality of sleep when they do not watch television before bed? Is the improvement (if there is one) evident in both types of sleep quality questionnaires?

Terms/Concepts: sleep quality; television and sleep; Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; Epworth Sleepiness Scale


Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

Author: Megan Doyle
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