A research abstract being presented as a poster presentation today at SLEEP 2008 provides an interesting explanation for why some teens may not be sleeping well: They spend too much time on the cell phone.
The study of 21 teens (ID# 0249) shows that those who have more than 15 calls and/or 15 text messages a day are more likely to sleep poorly than teens who make less than five calls and/or send five text messages a day.
Excessive cell-phone users are more prone to disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue. They also have more trouble waking up in the morning and are more tired before mid-day.
One member of the study group had more than 200 text messages per day. Only one of the 21 participants turned the cell phone off at night.
Another abstract presentation (ID# 0226) addresses a common cause of teen sleep loss: early school start times.
Following a 40-minute delay in the school start time from 7:35 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., students’ total sleep time on school nights increased by 33 minutes per night from 7 hours and 2 minutes to 7 hours and 35 minutes. Students went to bed about eight minutes later at night, but they slept in 41 minutes later in the morning, waking up at 6:53 a.m. instead of 6:12 a.m.
More students reported having “no problem” with sleepiness after the schedule change.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teens get a little more than nine hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well rested during the day.
The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at http://www.journalsleep.org/PDF/AbstractBook2008.pdf.