The Relationship Between the Use of Digital Devices and Sleep Quality, Physical Activity and Eating Behavior in Preschool Children



The article presents a review of 60 works researches carried out within the period from 2007 to 2021. The purpose of the review was to summarize current research on the relationship between the use of digital devices and the quality of sleep, physical activity and eating behavior in preschoolers. These aspects of development were chosen in connection with their proven influence on the cognitive and socio-emotional development of preschoolers. The analysis of studies has shown that screen time is associated with the risk of overweight and obesity in preschoolers. Also, the review has shown that long screen time and digital devices presence in bedroom negatively affect sleep duration and sleep quality. Additionally, excessive screen media use in preschoolers is associated with poor motor skills and physical activity. But on the opposite side there are special active videogames, apps and exergames which can promote physical activity and eating behavior. An analysis of the studies led to the conclusion about the important role of executive functions that mediate the relationship between screen time and the amount of sleep, physical activity and eating behavior. This review allows to articulate the recommendations for further investigations in this direction according to analyzed researches limitations. The review also confirms the importance of recommendations for parents on the safe use of digital devices by preschoolers.

General Information

Keywords: preschool age, digital devices, media use, screen time, content, sleep quality, physical activity, childhood overweight and obesity, eating behavior

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: review article


For citation: Bukhalenkova D.A., Veraksa A.N., Chichinina E.A. The Relationship Between the Use of Digital Devices and Sleep Quality, Physical Activity and Eating Behavior in Preschool Children [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 68–80. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2022110206. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Veraksa A.N., Bukhalenkova D.A., Chichinina E.A., Almazova O.V. Vzaimosvyaz’ ispol’zovaniya tsifrovykh ustroi stv i emotsional’no-lichnostnogo razvitiya sovremennykh doshkol’nikov [Relationship Between the Use of Digital Devices and Personal and Emotional Development in Preschool Children]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2021. Vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 27—40. DOI:10.17759/pse.2021260101 (In Russ.).

  2. Tvardovskaya A.A., Gabdulkhakov V.F., Novik N.N., Garifullina A.M. Vliyanie fizicheskoi aktivnosti doshkol’nikov na razvitie regulyatornykh funktsii: teoreticheskii obzor issledovanii [Elektronnyi resurs] [Influence of physical activity of preschool children on the development of regulatory functions: a theoretical review of research]. Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriya 14. Psikhologiya [Bulletin of the Moscow University. Episode 14. Psychology], 2020, no. 3, pp. 214—238. URL: 21.06.2022). (In Russ.).

  3. Bukhalenkova D.A., Chichinina E.A., Chursina A.V., Veraksa A.N. Obzor issledovanii, posvyashchennykh izucheniyu vzaimosvyazi ispol’zovaniya tsifrovykh ustroistv i razvitiya kognitivnoi sfery u doshkol’nikov [A review of studies on the relationship between the use of digital devices and the development of the cognitive sphere in preschoolers]. Science for Education Today, 2021. Vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 7—25. DOI:10.15293/2658-6762.2103.01 (In Russ.).

  4. Leonov S.V., Polikanova I.S., Bulaeva N.I., Klimenko V.A. Osobennosti ispol’zovaniya virtual’noi real’nosti v sportivnoi praktike [Using virtual reality in sports practice]. Natsional’nyi psikhologicheskii zhurnal = Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal, 2020. Vol. 1, no. 37, pp. 18—30. DOI:10.11621/npj.2020.0102 (In Russ.).

  5. Veraksa A.N., Belolutskaya A.K., Gavrilova M.N., Leonov S.V. Svyaz’ regulyatornykh funktsii i pokazatelei funktsional’noĭfizicheskoĭpodgotovkiudeteĭdoshkol’nogovozrasta: obzorissledovanii[Elektronnyiresurs][Communication of regulatory functions and indicators of functional physical training in preschool children: a review of studies]. Voprosy psikhologii [Questions of psychology], 2020, no. 2, pp. 1—16. URL: https://вместерастем.рф/publications/publication/3948/ (Accessed 14.06.2022). (In Russ.).

  6. Smirnova E.O. Spetsifika sovremennogo doshkol’nogo detstva [Specific features of modern preschool childhood]. Natsional’nyi psikhologicheskii zhurnal [National Psychological Journal], 2019. Vol. 2, no. 34, pp. 25—32. DOI:10.11621/ npj.2019.0205 (In Russ.).

  7. Spirina A.V. Osobennosti vliyaniya prosmotra video i teleperedach s elementami nasiliya na psikhologicheskoe zdorov’e detei doshkol’nogo vozrasta [Elektronnyi resurs] [Features of the influence of viewing videos and television programs with elements of violence on the psychological health of children of pre school age]. Zdorov’e i obrazovanie v XXI veke = Health and Education Millennium, 2017. Vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 164—167. URL: (Accessed 14.06.2022). (In Russ.).

  8. Tena R.R., Gut’erres M.P., Sekhudo M. del’ K.L. Privychki ispol’zovaniya tsifrovykh tekhnologii det’mi v vozraste do shesti let v sem’e i doma [Habits of using digital technologies by children under the age of six in the family and at home]. Sovremennoe doshkol’noe obrazovanie [Modern preschool education], 2021. Vol. 4, no. 106, pp. 68—79. (In Russ.).

  9. Koryagina Yu.V., Nopin S.V., Blinov V.A., Blinov O.A. Tekhnologiya “exergames” kak innovatsionnoe sredstvo sportivnoi trenirovki i testirovaniya rabotosposobnosti sportsmenov (po materialam zarubezhnoi literatury) [Technology “exergames” as an innovative tool of sports training and testing of performance of athletes (following the publications in foreign literature)]. Uchenye zapiski universiteta Lesgafta [Uchenye zapiski universiteta imeni P.F. Lesgafta], 2015. Vol. 7, no. 125, pp. 113—119. DOI:10.5930/issn.1994-4683.2015.07.125.p113-119 (In Russ.).

  10. LeBlanc A.G., Chaput J.P., McFarlane A., Colley R., Thivel D., Biddle S.J.H., Maddison R., Leatherdale S.T., Tremblay M.S. Active video games and health indicators in children and youth: A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 2013. Vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 212—219. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0065351

  11. Norozi K., Haworth R., Dempsey A.A., Endres K., Altamirano-Diaz L. Are Active Video Games Effective at Eliciting Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity in Children, and Do They Enjoy Playing Them? Canadian Journal of Cardiology Open, 2020. Vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 555—562. DOI:10.1016/j.cjco.2020.07.006

  12. Hu J., Ding N., Yang L., Ma Y., Gao M., Wen D. Association between television viewing and early childhood overweight and obesity: A pair-matched case-control study in China. BMC Pediatrics, 2019. Vol. 19, article ID 184, 8 p. DOI:10.1186/s12887-019-1557-9

  13. Carson V., Ezeugwu V.E., Tamana S.K., Chikuma J., Lefebvre D.L., Azad M.B., Moraes T.J., Subbarao P., Becker A.B., Turvey S.E. Associations between meeting the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years and behavioral and emotional problems among 3-year-olds. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2019. Vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 797—802. DOI:10.1016/j.jsams.2019.01.003

  14. Collings P., Kelly B., West J., Wright J.M. Associations of TV Viewing Duration, Meals and Snacks Eaten When Watching TV, and a TV in the Bedroom with Child Adiposity. Obesity, 2018. Vol. 26, no. 10, pp. 1619—1628. DOI:10.1002/ oby.22288

  15. Belghali M., Statsenko Y., Al-Za’abi A. Improving Serious Games to Tackle Childhood Obesity. Frontiers in Psychology, 2021. Vol. 12, article ID 657289, 7 p. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.657289

  16. Tester J.M., Phan T.-L.T., Tucker J.M., Leung C.W., Gillette M.L.D., Sweeney B.R., Kirk S., Tindall A., Olivo- Marston S.E., Eneli I.U. Characteristics of Children 2 to 5 Years of Age With Severe Obesity. Pediatrics, 2018. Vol. 141, no. 3, article ID e20173228. 8 p. DOI:10.1542/peds.2017-3228

  17. Hinkley T., Brown H., Carson V., Teychenne M. Cross-sectional associations of screen time and outdoor play with social skills in preschool children. PloS one, 2018. Vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 1—15. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0193700

  18. Cheung C.H., Bedford R., Saez De Urabain I.R., Karmiloff-Smith A., Smith T.J. Daily touchscreen use in infants and toddlers is associated with reduced sleep and delayed sleep onset. Scientific Reports, 2017. Vol. 7, article ID, 8 p. 46104. DOI:10.1038/srep46104

  19. Leong C., Liesaputra V., Morrison C., Parameswaran P., Grace D., Healey D., Ware L., Palmer O., Goddard E., Houghton L.A. Designing Video Games for Nutrition Education: A Participatory Approach. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2021. Vol. 53, no. 10, pp. 832—842. DOI:10.1016/j.jneb.2021.07.001

  20. Digital media: Promoting healthy screen use in school-aged children and adolescents / Canadian Paediatric Society, Digital Health Task Force, Ottawa, Ontario. Paediatrics & Child Health, 2019. Vol. 24, no. 6, pp.402—408. DOI:10.1093/ pch/pxz095

  21. Dinet J., Bauchet C., Hoareau L. Collaborative Game Design with Children with Hemophilia as a Tool for Influencing Opinions about Physical Activity at School. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 2019. Vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 159—171. DOI:10.11621/pir.2019.0410

  22. Domingues-Montanari S. Clinical and psychological effects of excessive screen time on children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2017. Vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 333—338. DOI:10.1111/jpc.13462

  23. Abid R., Ammar A., Maaloul R., Souissi N., Hammouda O. Effect of COVID-19-Related Home Confinement on Sleep Quality, Screen Time and Physical Activity in Tunisian Boys and Girls: A Survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021. Vol. 18, no. 6, article ID 3065, 12 p. DOI:10.3390/ijerph18063065

  24. Bellissimo N., Pencharz P.B., Thomas S.G., Anderson G.H. Effect of television viewing at mealtime on food intake after a glucose preload in boys. Pediatric Research, 2007. Vol. 61, no. 6, pp. 745—749. DOI:10.1203/ pdr.0b013e3180536591

  25. Felix E., Silva V., Caetano M., Ribeiro M.V.V., Fidalgo T.M., Neto F.R., Sanchez Z.M., Surkan P.J., Martins S.S., Caetano S.C. Excessive Screen Media Use in Preschoolers Is Associated with Poor Motor Skills. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2020. Vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 418—425. DOI:10.1089/cyber.2019.0238

  26. Fadzil A. Factors Affecting the Quality of Sleep in Children. Children, 2021. Vol. 8, no. 2, article ID 122, 8 p. DOI:10.3390/children8020122

  27. Garrison M.M., Liekweg K., Christakis D.A. Media use and child sleep: the impact of content, timing, and environment. Pediatrics, 2011. Vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 29—35. DOI:10.1542/peds.2010-3304

  28. Hale L., Guan S. Screen time and sleep among school-aged children and adolescents: A systematic literature review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 2015. Vol. 21, pp. 50—58. DOI:10.1016/j.smrv.2014.07.007

  29. Howie E.K., Coenen P., Campbell A., Ranelli S., Straker L. Head, trunk and arm posture amplitude and variation, muscle activity, sedentariness and physical activity of 3 to 5 year-old children during tablet computer use compared to television watching and toy play. Applied Ergonomics, 2017. Vol. 65, pp. 41—50. DOI:10.1016/j.apergo.2017.05.011

  30. Hu R., Zheng H., Lu C. The Association Between Sedentary Screen Time, Non-screen-based Sedentary Time, and Overweight in Chinese Preschool Children: A Cross-Sectional Study. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2021. Vol. 9, article ID 767608, 7 p. DOI:10.3389/fped.2021.767608

  31. Brockmann P.E., Diaz B., Damiani F., Villarroel L., Núñez F., Bruni O. Impact of television on the quality of sleep in preschool children. Sleep Medicine, 2016. Vol. 20, pp. 140—144. DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2015.06.005

  32. Manz K., Schlack R., Poethko-Müller C., Mensink G., Finger J., Lampert T. Körperlich-sportliche Aktivität und Nutzungelektronischer Medienim Kindes- und Jugendalter: Ergebnisse der KiGGS-Studie — Erste Folgebefragung (KiGGSWelle 1) [Physical activity and electronic media use in children and adolescents: results of the KiGGS study: first follow-up (KiGGS wave 1)]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz, 2014 Vol. 57, no. 7, pp. 840—848. DOI:10.1007/s00103-014-1986-4

  33. Mazarello Paes V., Ong K.K., Lakshman R. Factors in uencing obesogenic dietary intake in young children (0—6 years): systematic review of qualitative evidence. BMJ Open, 2015. Vol. 5, no. 9, article ID e007396, 9 p. DOI:10.1136/ bmjopen-2014-007396

  34. McArthur B.A., Tough S., Madigan S. Screen time and developmental and behavioral outcomes for preschool children. Pediatric Research, 2021. Vol. 91, no. 6, pp. 1616—1621. DOI:10.1038/s41390-021-01572-w

  35. Council on communications and media, Hill D., Ameenuddin N., Chassiakos Y. (Linda) Reid, Cross C., Hutchinson J., Levine A., Boyd R., Mendelson R., Moreno M., Swanson W.S. Media and young minds: Council on Communications and Media. Pediatrics, 2016. Vol. 138, no. 5, article ID e20162591, 6 p. DOI:10.1542/peds.2016-2591

  36. Moorman J.D., Harrison K. Beyond access and exposure: implications of sneaky media use for preschoolers’ sleep behavior. Health communication, 2019. Vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 529—536. DOI:10.1080/10410 236.2017.1422103

  37. Ruggiero L., Seltzer E.D., Dufelmeier D., Montoya A.M., Chebli P. MyPlate picks: development and initial evaluation of feasibility, acceptability, and impact of an educational exergame to help promote healthy eating and physical activity in children. Games for Health Journal, 2020. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 197—207. DOI:10.1089/g4h.2019.0056

  38. Nathanson A.I., Beyens I. The relation between use of mobile electronic devices and bedtime resistance, sleep duration, and daytime sleepiness among preschoolers. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 2018. Vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 202—219. DOI:10.1080/1 5402002.2016.1188389

  39. Pagani L.S., Fitzpatrick C., Barnett T.A. Early childhood television viewing and kindergarten entry readiness. Pediatric Research, 2013. Vol. 74, no. 3, pp. 350—355. DOI:10.1038/pr.2013.105

  40. Mech P., Hooley M., Skouteris H., Williams J. Parent-related mechanisms underlying the social gradient of childhood overweight and obesity: A systematic review. Child: Care, Health and Development, 2016. Vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 603—624. DOI:10.1111/cch.12356

  41. McDonald L., Wardle J., Llewellyn C.H., van Jaarsveld C.H.M. Predictors of shorter sleep in early childhood. Sleep Medicine, 2014. Vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 536—540. DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2014.01.005

  42. Pratiwi E., Ananda L., Rispawati B., Safitri R. Relationship of Gadget Use with Sleep Quality in Pandemy Covid-19 in School Age Children in State Elementary School Goa Jereweh District West Sumbawa. STRADA Jurnal Ilmiah Kesehatan, 2020. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 1680—1686. DOI:10.30994/sjik.v9i2.497

  43. Russell C.G., Russell A. “Food” and “non-food” self-regulation in childhood: A review and reciprocal analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutition and Physical Activity, 2020. Vol. 17, article ID 33, 19 p. DOI:10.1186/s12966- 020-00928-5

  44. Saucedo-Araujo R.G., Chillón P., Pérez-López I.J., Barranco-Ruiz Y. School-Based Interventions for Promoting Physical Activity Using Games and Gamification: A Systematic Review Protocol. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020. Vol. 17, no. 14, article ID 5186, 11 p. DOI:10.3390/ijerph17145186

  45. Waller N.A., Zhang N., Cocci A.H., D’Agostino C., Wesolek-Greenson S., Wheelock K., Nichols L.P., Resnicow K. Screen time use impacts low-income preschool children’s sleep quality, tiredness, and ability to fall asleep. Child: Care, Health and Development, 2021. Vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 618—626. DOI:10.1111/cch.12869

  46. Edelson L.R., Mathias K.C., Fulgoni 3rd V.L., Karagounis L.G. Screen-based sedentary behavior and associations with functional strength in 6—15 year-old children in the United States. BMC Public Health, 2016. Vol. 16, article ID 116, 10 p. DOI:10.1186/s12889-016-2791-9

  47. Lan Q.-Y., Chan K.C., Yu K.N., Chan N.Y., Wing Y.K., Li A.M., Au C.T. Sleep duration in preschool children and impact of screen time. Sleep Medicine, 2020. Vol. 76, pp. 48—54. DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2020.09.024

  48. Falbe J., Davison K.K., Franckle R.L., Ganter C., Gortmaker S.L., Smith L., Land T., Taveras E.M. Sleep Duration, Restfulness, and Screens in the Sleep Environment. Pediatrics, 2015. Vol. 135, no. 2, pp. e367—e375. DOI:10.1542/ peds.2014-2306

  49. Kahn M., Schnabel O., Gradisar M., Rozen G.S., Slone M., Atzaba-Poria N., Tikotzky L., Sadeh A. Sleep, screen time and behaviour problems in preschool children: an actigraphy study. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2021. Vol. 30, pp. 1793—1802. DOI:10.1007/s00787-020-01654-w

  50. Aguilar-Farias N., Toledo-Vargas M., Miranda-Marquez S., Cortinez-O’Ryan A., Cristi-Montero C., Rodriguez- Rodriguez F., Martino-Fuentealba P., Okely A.D., del Pozo Cruz B. Sociodemographic Predictors of Changes in Physical Activity, Screen Time, and Sleep among Toddlers and Preschoolers in Chile during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021. Vol. 18, no. 1, article ID 176, 13 p. DOI:10.3390/ijerph18010176

  51. Sorrie M.B., Yesuf M.E., Gebremichael T.G. Overweight/Obesity and associated factors among preschool children in Gondar City, Northwest Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE, 2017. Vol. 12, no. 8, article ID e0182511, 13 p. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0182511

  52. Stiglic N., Viner R.M. Effects of screentime on the health and well-being of children and adolescents: a systematic review of reviews. BMJ Open, 2019. Vol. 9, article ID e023191, 15 p. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023191

  53. Tahir M.J., Willett W., Forman M.R. The Association of Television Viewing in Childhood with Overweight and Obesity Throughout the Life Course. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2018. Vol. 188, no. 2, pp. 282—293. DOI:10.1093/aje/ kwy236

  54. Takeuchi L.M. Families Matter: Designing Media for a Digital Age. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, 2011. 64 p.

  55. Cespedes E.M., Gillman M.W., Kleinman K., Rifas-Shiman S.L., Redline S., Taveras E.M. Television viewing, bedroom television, and sleep duration from infancy to mid-childhood. Pediatrics, 2014. Vol. 133, no. 5, pp. e1163—e1171. DOI:10.1542/peds.2013-3998

  56. Sisson S.B., Shay C.M., Broyles S.T., Leyva M. Television-viewing time and dietary quality among U.S. children and adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012. Vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 196—200. DOI:10.1016/j.amepre.2012.04.016

  57. Mack I., Reiband N., Etges C. et al. The kids obesity prevention program: cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate a serious game for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 2020. Vol. 22, no. 4, article ID e15725, 18 p. DOI:10.2196/15725

  58. Määttä S., Kaukonen R., Vepsäläinen H., Lehto E. The mediating role of the home environment in relation to parental educational level and preschool children’s screen time: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 2017. Vol. 17, no. 1, article ID 688, 11 p. DOI:10.1186/s12889-017-4694-9

  59. Wu X., Tao S., Rutayisire E., Chen Y., Huang K., Tao F. The relationship between screen time, nighttime sleep duration, and behavioural problems in preschool children in China. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2017. Vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 541—548. DOI:10.1007/s00787-016-0912-8

  60. Li C., Cheng G., Sha T., Cheng W., Yan Y. The Relationships between Screen Use and Health Indicators among Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020. Vol. 17, no. 19, article ID 7324, 19 p. DOI:10.3390/ijerph17197324

Information About the Authors

Daria A. Bukhalenkova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Researcher, Laboratory of Child Psychology and Digital Socialization, Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Aleksandr N. Veraksa, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vice-Director of Psychological Institute, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena A. Chichinina, Junior Researcher of the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 572
Previous month: 34
Current month: 13


Total: 214
Previous month: 3
Current month: 4