Half of UK teenagers are losing sleep through their mobile phones, with a third of these checking their notifications more than ten times per night.
That is according to the latest Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) survey, conducted in partnership with online safety organisation Digital Awareness UK (DAUK).
The survey involved 2,750 students aged 11 to 18 and looked at their use of mobile phones through the night and the impact of this on their health and well being.
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In this news report, we take a look at the survey’s findings and suggest what children, students and parents should do to tackle the issue of mobile phone-related sleep deprivation.
The mobile phone survey finds that 45% of teenagers check their phone after bedtime. Of these:
These teenagers are using their mobile phones for a variety of purposes:
These teenagers were then asked how they would feel if they couldn’t check their phone during the night:
Of the students surveyed, 68% admit that using their smartphone through the night affects their school work. 42% keep their phone next to their bed and 25% feel tired during the day, because of their overnight mobile phone use.
In schools, students often report that they are exhausted, with sound and LED notifications, disturbing their sleep as they are tagged in posts and get updates on comments.
The effects of mobile phones on teenagers have been documented by Cambridge University. A study looking at 800 14-year old students who spend an extra hour on their mobile phones will see a fall in grades on two GCSE subjects overall, by the age of 16. Two hours of additional usage sees a drop of grade in four subjects overall.
Scientific research suggests that parents should avoid screen viewing from the early life of their children. This can lead to a lifelong habit that causes changes in the brain and may even affect lifespan.
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The research indicates that an addiction is created, and like other addictions, this results in the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter known as the pleasure chemical. Dopamine is produced when something new or interesting is encountered, and when dopamine is produced everyday for many years, children become dependent on screen media.
There are several ways that students, teenagers and parents can tackle mobile phone sleep deprivation:
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Written by: Michael Brown