Looking at a collection of studies, researchers found that 70 percent of teenagers have a television in their bedroom, and that the device can have some unintended consequences, such as:
- Children stay awake longer if they have a television in their room. Losing as little as an hour of sleep can impact a child’s critical thinking and problem solving ability – skills commonly used in school.
- When accumulated over a few days, lack of a good night’s rest can impact a teen’s emotional stability.
- If the child has a television or game console in their bedroom, the room will be transformed into an entertainment zone, not an area for rest and relaxation.
- If the child plays violent or intense video games, the bedroom can become a place where the brain is on edge, instead of a relaxed state.
In addition, researchers said parents should strive to remove media from their child’s bedroom. While it may be difficult to remove a child’s cell phone from the room, try to have them put it on silent so they aren’t disturbed by notifications throughout the night, and remove other electronics like computers and tablets.
“One of the biggest culprits for inadequate and disturbed sleep is technology, said psychologist Dr. Jennifer Vriend, lead author of a study that examined the side effects of technology in the bedroom. “Many teenagers sleep with their phones and they are awakened regularly by it ringing or vibrating throughout the night when they get a text, email or Facebook message.”
Dr. Vriend added that the drawbacks are two-fold. Not only are children waking up less rested for the day’s activities, but during the sleep process, the events of the previous day are condensed and stored as learned knowledge. Without adequate sleep, a child might have a tougher time recalling old information.
She concluded by saying it’s important for parents and healthcare professionals to ensure children understand the benefits of a good night’s sleep.
“This study highlights the need to educate healthcare professionals, educators, parents and children about the importance of healthy sleep habits and the potential negative consequences of inadequate sleep.”
Dr. Silverman comments
We’ve documented before how beneficial sleep is to a person’s everyday routine. Sleep is a restorative process that keeps the mind and the body operating optimally. Without it, we are physically, psychologically, and emotionally thrown out of whack.
Although it’s not ideal, adults have learned ways to focus and function rationally without eight hours of sleep, but it’s harder on teens. They are juggling hormones, school stress, peer pressure and other issues that, when you had sleep deprivation to the mix, can be a recipe for disaster.
Related source: Telegraph.co.uk
Lance Silverman, MD
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