Why Teenagers Aren’t Sleeping

Most teenagers suffer from sleep loss after convincing themselves they will shut off their devices after responding to one more text, or winning one more round, ending up with only two-to-five hours of sleep per night. But this isn’t just because they are staying up late, it’s also because they can’t fall asleep after staring at screens for so long.


The electronics kids and adults are staying up using release blue light, which delays the internal clock and can irritate the eyes. Blue light also limits time in rapid eye movement, more commonly known as REM, resulting in more light sleep, interrupting deep sleep, or stopping sleep completely. In addition, melatonin, the hormone that helps people stay and fall asleep, is disturbed by the artificial light and is further interrupted by the compulsion to check the device again.


Playing video games, whether they are violent or not, leaves brains active and alert. However, texting and using social media keeps people awake and alert too, not just by making it hard to fall asleep, but by interrupting sleep as well. It’s human nature to wonder what people are up to without them, which is usually enough of catalyst to check an electronic device.


Although social media is partly to blame for kids staying up late, these kids are generally learning this nasty habit from their parents. Most parents only get their alone time after their children fall asleep, so if the children find them on devices at night, the kids grow up thinking staying up on electronics is normal. Thus leading to even less sleep when they are adults.


How to kick this habit and get the necessary amount of sleep needed to thrive? Refer here to one of our older articles, “Clocking Those ZZZ’s”. https://trojantimes.net/2055/opinion/clocking-those-zzzs/