Texting & teen sleep deprivation

Sleep specialists are concerned about teens keeping cellphones on all night, right by their beds and under their pillows – because of “how important sleep is to their developing brains,” the Charlotte Observer reports. It tells of a 17-year-old in California was getting “near-debilitating migraine headaches throughout the day.” The first thing her doctor checked was her eyes. No problem. Then a CAT scan. “It came back clear.” He was stumped. What finally came to light was that she slept with her phone at bedside “just in case a friend called or text-messaged her in the middle of the night. Sometimes, she said, she would receive calls or messages as late as 3 a.m. – and she would wake right up to call or text right back.” The article doesn’t say, but I hope the prescription was that the teen turn off her phone at night. Other problems specialists cite as resulting from sleep deprivation: “impaired concentration, weakened immune systems, crankiness, increased use of nicotine or caffeine and hyperactive behavior often misconstrued as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” And one other added by Dr. Carolyn Hart at the Presbyterian Center for Sleep Disorders: a decline in school performance and risky driving while drowsy. [See also “House rules for teen texting.”]

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