Study Finds Teens Mental Health Threatened By Late Night Phone Use
A study out of Australia finds late night phone usage could hurt teens’ sleep quality and mental health. LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans clinical psychologist Michelle Moore is not surprised by the findings and says parents shouldn’t allow their kids to have cellphones in their rooms at night. She says the bright light on the screen isn’t the only thing keeping them awake.
“It’s also the anxiety that they’re feeling waiting for a message to come through and anticipating what’s going to come up on the phone that’s not allowing them to get good sleep at night,” Moore said.
The lengthy study involving 1,100 Australian high school students found increased phone use at night can lead to depressed mood and low self-esteem. Moore adds that if young people can’t sleep and they check their phones, it can keep them awake even longer.
“The less you sleep, the more moody you’re going to feel during the day. So teenagers are going to be more moody when they haven’t slept, and they need 8 to 10 hours of sleep, which is a lot of sleep at night,” Moore said.
Moore says with increased cell phone use, many young people may only be getting half as much sleep as they need. She encourages parents to set an example for their kids and put their phones away at bedtime too.
“Set a bedtime. Set a curfew. All phones stay in the kitchen area and are not allowed in the bedroom areas,” Moore said.