If there’s junk food, there’s also junk sleep – and both are “time-bombs” that could explode big time to ruin everyone’s life.
People, especially teenagers, are turning to owls as they hardly get enough sleep at night with all the temptations to watch TV, listen to music, surf the Internet, and use other electronic gadgets.
In Britain, a poll of 1,000 kids, ages 12 to 16, found that 30 percent go on four to seven hours of sleep a night, far from the recommended eight or nine or more that teens often get when they can.
As Reuters reports, nearly all of the teenagers surveyed had a phone, music system, or TV in their bedroom and two-thirds of them had all three (The survey obviously missed the question on whether they also have PCs inside their bedroom).
A 2005 Pew Internet & American Life project study found that 26 percent of U.S. teens spent time online in their bedrooms, and that’s two years ago.
Helene Emsellem, a sleep physician, said “As we have more and more ways to stay connected at night, we’ve seen an exaggeration of the night-owlism in teenagers.”
Research shows that teens’ internal clocks shift toward much later sleep times, and tech that keeps teens engaged and not relaxed doesn’t help—especially when they have to get up early for school.
To help teens sleep better, Emsellem urges parents to take TVs out of teens’ bedrooms, enforce turn-off times on PCs and phones—every tech gadget except music players.
Ensellem encourages teens to listen to music at night—but tune into a soothing playlist, on low volume, that helps them relax and go to sleep.
Needless to say, lack of sleep contributes to poor concentration in school, grumpy attitude, poor grades, pimples, wasted appearance, poor health, susceptibility to various diseases and so many other problems.
Who knows, the worsening problem of lack of sleep as more and more gadgets invade our homes could just be the undoing of the human race.