If you needed some motivation to continue the fight to remove electronic devices from your teenagers at night, Dr Bennett has found some ammunition!
A study published in the Journal of Child Neurology reported that:
- Texting after “lights out” was associated with less hours of sleep and increased reports of sleepiness during the day;
- Messaging for more than 30 minutes after “lights out” was linked to reduced academic performance;
- Instant messaging before “lights out” was not associated with any significant daytime sleepiness or reduced academic performance;
- Although female adolescents reported increased rates of instant messaging and daytime sleepiness, they tended not to have the same rates of reduced academic performance compared to the male study participants.
Although this was a study of 1537 American adolescents, the impact of “blue light” and interrupted sleep is relevant to our Australian teenagers. “Blue light” emitted from devices that have not been turned off can impact our circadian rhythm, the natural rise in melatonin and progression into sleep cycles.
Delayed sleep onset can significantly impact the amount of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep our children experience each night and a common issue that is discussed with Dr Bennett in the clinic. As REM sleep is related to learning and memory consolidation, any tips to facilitate sleep onset and reduced interruptions of sleep are very valuable.
Could your family implement a change to remove devices and “blue light” from the bedroom at bedtime?
Grover K, Pecor K et al. Effects of Instant Messaging on School Performance in Adolescents J Child Neurology 2016; 31:7