There was a time when a typical teenager’s life was preoccupied with books, comics, mixtapes and a pair of headphones. However, in 2020, things are entirely different, and we have our teenagers focusing more onto their smartphone and iPad screens than ever before.
Though these technological inventions improve their life through better education, growth and learning, we can’t show a disregard for the other side of the deal. That is, just like everything else in the world, technology can also have some pretty scary effects on a teenager’s life.
And, it’s not really a surprise that sleep and sleep quality take the first hit. In this article, we will talk about a few scary effects of technology on teenager’s sleep. We talked to a few experts in the field and they’ve given a few pointers that can help you to control these issues as well.
The Addictive Case of Social Media
Before we address the overall impact of technology on teenagers’ sleep, we have to talk about social media. As you know, social media today has transformed the way people meet, and teenagers were the first to see the shift. If we take the case of a typical high-school teenager, it becomes necessary for them to be a part of this virtual world.
Once you have joined the world of social media, though, things can become super-addictive in no time. In case of teenagers, the peer pressure also plays an important role. When combined, all these factors can lead to a scenario where a single Instagram notification or a Snapchat message can make a teen wake up all of a sudden.
Making things worse, social media also enforces teens to equate the number of likes/reactions to how they count happiness. While this is also true for adults, the impact of the reaction culture can cause further issues like anxiety and depression among teenagers. So, despite being today’s normal, you cannot rule out social media from a list of potential threats to teenagers’ sleep quality.
The Usual Companions, Gadgets
Several gadgets, especially a touchscreen-enabled smartphone and a device like iPad, almost always become a part of a teenager’s lifestyle. In fact, some teenagers go to the extent of spending most of their days looking onto the smartphone screen instead of outside. Now, although smartphone screens have received upgrades in the past decade, the issue of blue light exposure persists.
That is, a typical teenager may be exposed to blue light emission from digital devices for an extended period of time per day. Several research attempts have illustrated the impact of blue light and your brain’s capacity to induce sleep. It was shown that people who use smartphones for a long period of time have trouble when it comes to falling asleep.
We should also note that the addictive nature of apps and social media make these gadgets an instant trigger for most teenagers. The fact that a single notification chime from the smartphone can disrupt even a deeper sleep cycle is quite scary.
Addressing the Issues
One thing you can conclude is that teens today don’t get as much as sleep as they require to function in the best way possible. Now, the question is how to control the impacts on your children. Of course, you cannot force them to live in a world without the internet or social media. You can, however, follow the steps we’ve covered below.
These steps are harmless in that they try to optimize the priorities of a teenagers. It will be done by providing a better environment in general.
- You should consider using features like Screen Time on iOS to control how much time your teenagers spend with their smartphone devices. While this should not be an option to put them under a hectic surveillance, you can get an idea about the time allocation. Based on this, you can put some kinds of boundaries that enable a good night’s sleep. For instance, if your kid goes to sleep at around ten, you can set up a boundary to prevent the excessive smartphone use after eight or nine.
- The right bedroom experience can help teenagers in falling and staying asleep. Now, there are a few factors that play an important role here. First of all, you need to get a mattress that teenagers need and love, and you can find some suggestions here. Going further, you have to adjust aspects such as lighting and sound absorption in the room. The basic idea is to ensure a distraction-free environment for your children to sleep.
On top of these, you should also check if your children are stressed out by something else. In case you didn’t know, teenagers today go through mental health issues a lot. Some words of solace or some help from the professional side can make things better in no time.