A 2015 Seton Hall study found teenage cell phone use at bedtime is connected to insomnia, which then correlates with poor school performance.
The study found that two thirds of these students said they experienced sleep loss, leading to 61 percent saying it had an effect on their school work.
Dr. Christopher Rose, the Covenant Sleep Lab Medical Director... said finding a consistent sleep routine is the best way to prevent insomnia and stay attentive in school.
“Getting a routine sleep, waking up at the same time, going to bed at the same time,” Rose said. “Allowing for younger children to have 10 to 11 hours of sleep and teenagers should at least have 9. That should help with the sleep problem and then in turn, improve school performance.”
Rose said there are chemicals in the brain that are stimulated by looking at video of any kind before bed, resulting in sleep loss.
“A chemical in the brain called melanopsin inhibits the melatonin production in the brain and that chemical is stimulated by blue light from an LED,” Rose said. “So computer screens, cell phones, TVs can make it to where your brain doesn’t want to go to sleep at night.”
Kristen Lewis, a counselor for Monterey High School, said parents need to set boundaries with media and electronics use before bedtime.
“I think phones can be really addictive and it’s not just for teenagers, it’s for adults too,” Lewis said. “They have a hard time putting them down. But just that bright light in your face, it’s hard to sleep, so just setting limits and boundaries I think is good with anything someone enjoys.”
Lewis and Rose added they believe parents need to establish a foundation of good sleep hygiene in the children.
Among the factors include taking a hot shower, dimming the lights in the bedroom, and limiting overall cellphone use one hour before bedtime.