Positive Parenting: Late night phone use means more sleepy teens

According to Pew Research Center, 95 percent of teens own or have access to a smartphone in 2018. A 22 percentage point increase from the 73 percent of teens who had access in 2015. As this phone use increases, some dangerous effects may increase as well. 

The average teen is most likely scrolling, swiping and snapping most hours of the day and while cell phones are a great way to stay connected with friends, a study by Murdoch University in Australia found that late-night phone use is not harmless. 

When over 1,000 teens ages 13 to 16 were examined, researchers found that as phone use increased, worse sleep increased, too.

This sleep loss led to depressed mood, poorer self esteem, behavior problems like acting out and difficulty coping with life. 

So what can parents do?

The study authors recommend setting a curfew for phone use and monitoring daytime phone use as well. Have a conversation to make sure your teen understands the effects of losing sleep and teach them skills that they can use later in life, such as using sleep tracking apps to monitor their sleep.  

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