Experts say smart phones are keeping teens up at night

Study: Teens not sleeping well

MISSOURI (KFVS) - The National Academy of Pediatrics says teenagers may be the most in need of a good night's rest.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost 90 percent of teens don't get enough sleep, and it could be because of smart phone use in bed.

Students at Advance High School tend to agree, but don't see stopping anytime soon.

When asked how much sleep they get the answer was less than the 8-10 hours recommended by doctors.

"Six or seven hours," said senior CJ Seger.

"Seven to eight hours," said junior Preston Wuebker.

"I either sleep between 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.," said senior Austin Ladd.

It's not enough according to sleep experts.

The National Sleep Foundation says 87 percent of teens don't get enough.

Part of the problem experts say is teens using smartphones in bed.

Lloyd Diamond, a sleep analyst in Cape Girardeau, agrees.

"You sit there with a bright light in front of your face before it's time to go to sleep and that's going to mimic sunlight to your brain which makes it think it's time to be awake," Diamond said.

All three teens say they spend about two hours per night in bed on their smart phones, and it makes them tired.

"In the morning I'm drowsy, and not wanting to be here," said Wuebker.

"It's a struggle to stay awake," said Seger.

"It's awful. I don't ever want to get up," said Ladd.

Experts say it's not good for their health.

"It can cause a lot of problems, leading to mental health problems, or obesity, dependence on substances to keep them awake," Diamond said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling sleep loss in teens an epidemic, and one solution is just to unplug.

"Have them try it," Diamond said. "Putting the phones and tablets away, going to bed at a little bit earlier hour."

However, that doesn't mean they will.

Seger said he definitely thinks he should, but when asked if he will, the teen said "probably not."

Diamond says the more sleep you get the more you can remember.

During your dreams your mind organizes your thoughts.

So it may come in handy the next time you're thinking about cramming for that big test.

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