Cell Phone Use Linked To Lack of Sleep in Teens Study Finds
In the modern era, teen cell phone use and lack of sleep are closely related. Is it realistic to think that cell phones keep teens up late at night? It is a great question because it appears "outside looking in" that interacting with a cell phone alone would cause lack of sleep. I’m personally a firm believer that both the interaction and EMF emitted from the cell phone have everything to do with how well teens sleep. To me the EMF would be more dangerous that the interaction with a cell phone alone, but lets see where this article gets us. As a father with a 20 year old son that is now in college, I can testify that my son’s behavior from having a cell phone is just as bad if not worse than his electronic entertainment devices usage, such as his TV, Playstation and or his Xbox. These devices seem to create a “fight or flight” response within him because in-game interaction to me has become very similar to virtual reality. After shooting some bad guys, how can someone immediately fall asleep? When staying awake becomes too much, a crash and burn situation seems to occur that makes wake up that much more difficult. I can definitely say his cell phone has altered his sleep patterns which now resemble a roller coaster. Late at night he is more prone to waking up in a dizzy to check to see who has texted him, and once awake a quick peak at friends on social media. As a concerned father what can I do to help alleviate this situation?
Lets look these studies lead by two prominent Universities:
Researchers at San Diego State University and Iowa State University looked at data from two large, nationally-representative studies covering more than 360,000 American teenagers, finding that a significant number of millennials are sleep deprived.
One study examined, called the “Monitoring the Future” survey, helped the researchers calculate the percentage of children who average less than seven hours of shut-eye a night, while the other— referred to as the “Young Risk Behavior Surveillance System” survey— helped them evaluate the average number of hours of sleep an adolescent got on a school night.
On both metrics, today’s youth are lacking sufficient slumber, the researchers found.
This not only makes sense that this is a growing issue, I believe it’s a long term health issue that creates a pattern that would be nearly impossible to break, once elected.
In 2015, nearly 40 percent of adolescents got less than seven hours of sleep a night on average, which represented a 17 percent jump from just six years prior, and a 58 percent increase from a 1991 study.
This shift in sleeping habits was likely directly attributable to increased internet use, as supported by one statistic: teens who used the web for at least five hours a day were 50 percent more likely to get insufficient sleep than peers who only spent an hour online a day.
1. What I recommend is that as a parent you can limit their cell phone and data plan. Make sure they realize a cell phone is a privilege, not a necessity. The cell phone can be taken away if not used properly. Not getting enough sleep and performing less than expected in school is not unacceptable. Set down some ground rules with using the cell phone is one of the best ways to curb its use.
Lead researcher Jean Twenge points out that smartphone adoption reached critical mass around 2009, which may explain why trends have developed as they have.
“Teens’ sleep began to shorten just as the majority started using smartphones,” says Twenge in a university news release. “It’s a very suspicious pattern.”
Sleep deprivation is a very serious issue, Twenge warns, as it causes many youth to be inattentive in class, and drowsy during other activities. You can find more information on Studies.org on Facebook!
“Our body is going to try to meet its sleep needs, which means sleep is going to interfere or shove its nose in other spheres of our lives,” explains Twenge, who has authored books on millennials. “Teens may catch up with naps on the weekend or they may start falling asleep at school.”
While technology can play a beneficial role in an adolescent’s life, it can become detrimental past a couple of hours of use a day, Twenge notes.
2. Leave your cell phone in a different room while you sleep or during bedtime. If you make your child keep their cell phone in an entirely different room, you are helping them relax and focus on natural sleep. The cell phone’s EMF has been known as a factor in sleep deprivation, and if the ground rule is the charger is in another room, you are assisting in your child’s development of cell phone etiquette.
She particularly recommends that teens eschew their phones and tablets before bed, as the devices can interfere with restful sleep.
The full study was published last month in the journal Sleep Medicine.
3. Set up family time, where times like dinner, no cell phone usage is allowed. Place everyone’s phones on a counter away from the table.
Credit Daniel Steingold