A Reuters Health news report indicates that teens who play video games and use social media before bed go to bed later and take longer to fall asleep.

These technology-related behaviors were tied to shorter and poorer sleep for teens on school days and even on vacation, while kids who stuck to non-tech behaviors like spending time with family before bed tended to get more sleep.

“The effects of technology and video gaming on sleep have previously been reported, so we were not surprised to see that video gaming before bed was associated with later bedtime and shorter sleep duration,” said senior author Bei Bei, of Monash University and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

But this study also accounted for kids’ “chronotype” – whether they tend to be more alert at night or in the morning – Bei said.

“We were able to see whether some behaviors had an effect on adolescents’ sleep beyond their chronotype,” she told Reuters Health by email. “The only technology that had such an effect was video gaming.”

Teens may be engaging in some activities because they are not yet sleepy, and they do so to pass time until they feel like going to sleep, she noted.

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