Impact of Internet Use on Sleep Quality and Autonomic Nervous System in Elementary School Children and the Effect of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment

Project: A - Government Institutionb - National Science and Technology Council

Project Details


Normal autonomic nervous system (ANS) function is requisite to maintain life and growth. Elementary school children are in the stage of adolescence development, which is the milestone of adult growth and ANS maturation. If the school children could not resist the temptation or even addict to internet world, they will change the life-style, decrease the physical activity, and the sleep time will be deprived. Their ANS function will thus be negatively affected. Heart rate variability (HRV) has been widely used to evaluate the autonomic nervous function. Reduced HRV reflects autonomic imbalance and has been shown to be is an independent predictor of mortality in various patient population. A series of studies will be conducted on elementary school children. A descriptive study will be done in the first year to explore the influences of internet use on sleep quality and ANS. A total of 400 subjects will be selected through purposive sampling. Questionnaires will be applied for the scaling of internet addiction and sleep quality. HRV will be measured to evaluate the ANS function. In second year, an experimental study will be used to examine the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on the improvement of internet use on sleep quality and ANS. Forty subjects who are in high risk of internet addiction will be selected through purposive sampling and randomly assigned to experimental group or control group. Subjects in experimental group will receive cognitive behavioral therapy for 12 weeks, compared to those in control group to whom no intervention will be given. Outcome indictors include the improvement in sleep quality and HRV. SPSS for windows 15.0 statistical software package will be used for data analysis. Pearson correlation will be used in the first year and independent t- test in the second year. The effects of cognitive behavior therapy will be analyzed with paired t- test. The results of this study can not only clarify the effects of internet use on ANS function, but also provide a method to improve their ANS function, which will be useful when elementary school children are taking the internet lessons.
Effective start/end date8/1/107/31/11


  • internet use
  • sleep quality
  • autonomic nervous system
  • heart rate variability


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