It is extremely common for people today to choose technology over sleep when it comes down to making a decision. This detrimental behavior happens to be even more common in young adults and teenagers. Parents are bound to be concerned when their teenage children cannot seem to pull away from the cell phone or laptop and will anxiously look for a means of putting a stop to this habit for the sake of their kids’ physical and mental health. Below is an overview of how excessive technology use can be detrimental to teenagers and a look at how to get your teenage child to turn off the technology and get to sleep.
The Average Nine Hours of Sleep Every Night is Critical to your Teenager’s well being
Most teenagers do not end up getting the sleep that they need on a daily basis, even though they happen to need more sleep than most adults do. Teenagers need an average of about nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Teenagers have bodies that are rapidly growing and developing, more fragile emotions, and busy school and social schedules. Teenagers are in the process of learning important information that will help them thrive in their later careers and personal relationships. Having a full night of sleep will help a teenager make the most of this. On the other hand, insufficient sleep is linked to depression and can even hinder healthy eating habits. Furthermore, sleep becomes increasingly important for teenagers who are driving, as lack of sleep makes for a greater likelihood of getting into a car accident.
Excessive use of Technology can Interfere with Healthy Sleeping Habits
Adults and teenagers alike are using technology, such as cell phones, video game consoles, televisions, and computers, within the hour before they go to sleep. For one thing, the artificial light from cell phones and other electronic devices has been shown to inhibit the production of melatonin, an essential sleep hormone that helps people sleep soundly through the night. Technology can also be over stimulating for most people, which will suppress ability to fall into a deep sleep. Many people, teenagers especially, will even end up sacrificing sleep in order to play a game, watch a movie, or communicate online with friends.
Consider Facilitating a Change for the Sake of your Teenager’s Health
Think about your teenage child’s current technology use habits and assess whether or not these habits are harming his or her health. If the answer is yes, it might be time to make a change. There are technology plans that will allow only limited hours or text messages; this has been shown to decrease technology use in multiple capacities. For the teenager who keeps a cell phone on at night in order to use it as an alarm clock, you may encourage him or her to keep it shut off at night by buying a regular alarm clock. It is also important to watch your own technology use habits, as you are setting an example for your children. Have a discussion and create technology use rules together.
This article was written by health blogger Laura Green. If you or your teen still struggles to get to sleep at night, you may need to contact Apnix Sleep Diagnostics for a sleep study.