Teenagers have always notoriously fallen asleep in class, slept-in late on the weekends, and been cranky due to hormonal changes and lack of quality sleep. The problem, however, is pervasive among-st kids from 8 through 18. Today, our younger set is suffering more than ever from sleep-deprivation—and technology is the culprit.
Not Enough Sleep
According to a study by the CDC, only 5% of high school seniors get enough sleep. This is dangerous because it poses a threat to their schoolwork, ability to engage in physical activities, healthy brain development, and scariest, their ability to drive safely.
And, unfortunately, we are all sadly aware that the number one cause of death for teenagers are motor vehicles accident.
According to a study conducted by Kaiser, teens spend over 50 hours a week on electronic media. That’s more than a full time job! Kids are going to sleep late and waking early.
The lack of sleep messes with their circadian rhythms as well as their physical development. Parents must be vigilant in limiting electronic use, if possible. Schools as well, may benefit to educate parents, teachers and youngsters on the necessity of sleep
Another recent study, published in the Journal of Child Neurology, showed a definitive link to teenage night texting to declining academic performance in school.
It wasn’t just that it was nighttime that made the difference, it was the actual dark. Smartphones don’t always keep us so smart. Messaging without overhead lights had a more detrimental effect.
Students who texted with the lights on, however, and before going to sleep, turned off lights and refrained from texting for 30 minutes, showed no difference in academic performance.
When the phones are in bed with the kids, they have a tendency to check and send messages almost like robots. This hugely interferes with a good night’s sleep.
Experts suggest keeping phones, computers, and other electronic devices out of bedrooms. Limit wi-fi time overall, and get your teens outside whenever possible. Fresh air and deep sleep are healthy—for us all!