Gadget Overload Keeps Kids Awake at Night

According to a new study by The Sleep Council, teenagers are increasingly sleeping less and experiencing lower quality sleep due to a huge increase in entertainment gadget ownership. In the study, almost all of the 12 to 16 year-olds reported having either a phone, music system or TV in their bedrooms, with two-thirds having all three. Additionally, 58% of 12 to 14 year-old boys have a phone, music player, TV and video game console in their bedroom. According to the research, this plethora of entertainment options is causing teenagers to lose sleep, with 30% saying they get just four to seven hours sleep, instead of the recommended eight to nine hours for this age group. Almost a quarter admit to falling asleep watching TV and/or listening to music or with other gadgets still running more than once a week.

"I am staggered that so few teenagers make the link between getting enough good quality sleep and how they feel during the day," said Dr Chris Idzikowski, a sleep expert at the Edinburgh Sleep Centre. "Teenagers need to wake up to the fact that to feel well, perform well and look well, they need to do something about their sleep. This is an incredibly worrying trend. What we are seeing is the emergence of 'Junk Sleep' that is of neither the length nor quality that it should be in order to feed the brain with the rest it needs to perform properly at school." Teenagers, on the other hand, seemed unconcerned. Only one in 10 respondents said that they gave it much thought at all and when asked how they thought sleep affected them, they ranked energy levels as being the most affected followed by mood, schoolwork, hair and skin, and weight.

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View: Press Release on The Sleep Council Website (Registration Required)

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im sorry but industry should last later in the night and start later in the morning. Even if i go to bed around 7pm i have a hard time getting up at 6 AM, its hard on me. But going to bed at 3 AM and getting up at 11 feels natural...

The gadgets aren't responsible for keeping kids awake at night; their usage is.

If we were talking about devices that couldn't be turned off, and beeped and made noises and required immediate attention, maybe they'd have a point. But last time I checked they all had 'off' buttons.

Lets not blame inanimate objects, shall we?

Next thing you know, they'll be blaming guns for killing people. Oh, wait.

_dandy_ said,
Next thing you know, they'll be blaming guns for killing people. Oh, wait.

Actually, the inventor of AK47 blames himself for creating the weapon after seeing it in the hands of terrorists...

But you've got a point. They need to implement a parental controlled timer device on some of those gadgets.

coolvi said,

Actually, the inventor of AK47 blames himself for creating the weapon after seeing it in the hands of terrorists...

Really? Then if not AK's, they'd just be using something else...something else probably exported by the exact same guys, but that's another discussion entirely...

This article is OTT anyway. The kids getting less sleep are in the minority. 70% ARE getting enough sleep.

Those who aren't are probably setting up the patterns they will follow as adults, plenty of whom regularly fail to get enough sleep. Also, there is a big difference between 7 hours a night and only 4 hours, but the study doesn't differentiate and lumps them all in together.

Another point - 8-9 hours is the recommended amount. Everyone varies in what they actually need, including teenagers. Maybe these kids are doing just fine on less sleep because that's all they really need.

i grew up w/ all this crap in my room too and turned out just fine. There needs to be some discipline between both the parents and the kid.

The better title for this article should be

"Parents' Carelessnes Keeps Kids Awake at Night"

It's not about gadgets or anything else, it is rather how parents raise their kids. If parents let their little ones to sit in front of TV until 12am, how is it TV's fault? Gadgets have always been present in our lives, it is a matter of setting ground rules for kids and enforcing these rules.

Perhaps this is a US thing, but here in the UK I know that me and my mates get about 10 hrs + (We're 16 so almost fall into that category) and I have a huge amount of gadgets (and so do they).

My two lads have a ps2 a pc and a ds each, I have my own domain and lock down there log on times. I take there ds's of them before the goto bed and I can hear there ps2 when its on.

You just have to police your children a little better.

Maybe if parents decided to give a **** about their children instead of sending them to their rooms over spilt milk and dropped plates so they don't have to deal with raising/disciplining them properly, we wouldn't need people doing redundant studies to "prove" to society of something they have been aware of but just don't care to.

We're expecting a child in late Jan/early Feb and I guaran-damn-TEE you that when my child is a teenager, they are not doing to be a console drone. Does anyone still actually go outside and play some sort of sport or do some physical activity anymore?
What percentage of kids are fat, out of shape and unmotivated? Hmm...

At least you're right about the United States. Let's not generalize for all developed countries of course. I agree though. This article is simply needed and more like it.

illz55 said,
At least you're right about the United States. Let's not generalize for all developed countries of course. I agree though. This article is simply needed and more like it.

True about the us, though in the other 'devoloping' countries such as Iraq Iran etc etc, children act mature and grow up with firearms in there hands and blow **** up screaming hail allah all the while. and yes, I said allah and not Allah. Jihad me now.

I don't mind the music but there will be no TV in their bedrooms. It's easier to control what they watch that way and they generally grow up more mature and a lot less spoiled.

QuarterSwede said,
I don't mind the music but there will be no TV in their bedrooms. It's easier to control what they watch that way and they generally grow up more mature and a lot less spoiled.

Showing your kids how to act like adults by treating them like adults is the way to make them more mature. Treating them like adults and not like pets is a good way for kids to learn how to act with adults and become mature individuals. That's what worked for mine.

This isn't the case at all with a lot of people.

I for one work 5 days a week, 8-9 hours a day and often only get 6 hours of sleep a night and while I feel like absolute **** in the morning, by the time my day gets going, it feels no different than having 8-9 hours. Mind you, I sleep in a room with only a comfortable bed and an alarm clock, so my sleep is noiseless. In my opinion, 9 is way too much, about 7.5-8 hours tops is enough.

It's for the age group. It is recommended that teenagers get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. The older you get, the less sleep your body requires. Which is why babies sleep almost all of the time, and old people hardly ever sleep. Maybe it has something to do with how much life you have left, and how much of it you should be wasting with your eyes closed.

Either way, this seems simple to me. Parents need to start parenting, and stop relying on gadgets and television to raise their children. Don't know about the rest of you, but when I was young, we had an established "bed time" in my house.

I wonder if the condition that teenagers have to wake up at 6-7am for school has any effects on the amount of sleep they get.

So because they don't have enough sense to go to sleep at a decent hour, school should start later?

Wow, I wish my job worked like that.

It's just the same news you see on television:

"A new study has indicated that eating too many fatty foods can be harmful to your health!"

I call it the "no-s*** news".

illz55 said,
I think it's good to remind people of how bad they are as parents or human beings though.

How is someone a bad human being for getting a couple hours less of sleep a night? At least one spends that time actually doing something rather than just lying there in a comatose state.