How much sleep does the average teenager need? According to www.nationwidechildrens.org, “the average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7½ hours. However, they need 9 to 9½ hours.” This statement is true for many students at Greenfield Jr High and it’s not good. So, how does technology come into play with how well we sleep? Well, there are three ways that using our devices before we go to sleep affects our sleeping habits.
The first, and biggest impact is the blue light that is radiated from your technology. Blue light restrains the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle (a.k.a. circadian rhythm).
In addition, playing intense games or unwinding at the end of the day with an exciting movie actually informs your brain that it should stay alert, rather than to calm down. The best way to calm your brain down is to turn off all technology at least 30 minutes prior to when you plan on going to bed. This way, you will have time to settle down and be ready for the next day.
Lastly, there are so many notifications that may go off while you sleep, and the sounds and vibrations disturb you in your slumber. Studies show that 72% of students ranging from ages 6 to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device near them. These children have proven to be much more sleep deprived than the 28% of kids that have no technology in the room (www.sleep.org).
All in all, modern devices are very entertaining to use, both for fun and as a tool. However, the impact it has on our sleep is not as likeable, so try to survive without Instagram and Snapchat for just 30 minutes before bed so you can dream more peacefully when you go to sleep.
By Lauren Hutchins
Photo credits: sleep.org