More Teens Than Ever Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Source: San Diego State University

Summary: A recent study reveals that teens are more likely sacrificing sleep to spend extra time on their phones and tablets.

Young people who can’t seem to get enough sleep are trading their sleep for smartphone time. Most of the sleep experts agree that adolescents need 9 hours of sleep each night to be productive in their day to day life. Sleeping less than 7 hours is considered to be sleep deprived. A peek in to any bleary-eyed classroom will tell you the fact that many teens are sleep deprived. According to a recent study done by the researchers, 40% of the adolescents in 2015 slept less than 7 hours a night. This insufficient sleep is 58% more than in 1991 and 17% more than in 2009. Teenagers who spent 5 hours a day online were 50% more affected by sleep deprivation than their peer who spent only an hour online each day. The study was published in the journal Sleep Medicine.

Sleep deprivation in teens

This increase in sleep deprivation in teens is because of the skyrocketing use of smartphones and tablets. Previous research also suggests that light wavelengths emitted by smartphones and tablets can interfere with body’s circadian rhythms. Students generally compensate the lack of sleep at night by dozing off during the daytime. Researchers say that smartphones and tablets have become an indispensable part of everyday life for many people, therefore their usage in moderation is the key. Limiting the usage to 1-2 hours a day should give enough time for proper sleep and this valuable advice applies for both young and old.

Prof. Of Psychology, J.M. Twenge said, “Given the importance of sleep for both physical and mental health, both teens and adults should consider whether their smartphone use is interfering with their sleep”, “It’s particularly important not to use screen devices right before bed, as they might interfere with falling asleep.”

Psychologist, Zlatan Krizan said, “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”, “Teens may catch up with naps on the weekend or they may start falling asleep at school”.

More Information: Jean M. Twenge et al. “Decreases in self-reported sleep duration among U.S. adolescents 2009-2015 and links to new media screen time”, Sleep Medicine, (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2017.08.013

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