Sleep-Deprivation in Teens and Electronics
Medikoe HealthTech Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Oct 10, 2018
It’s no secret that we live in a technology-obsessed world and consider electronics gadgets as the most critical element in our lives. We carry our cell phones almost throughout the day. Teens are spending more times on electronic devices, such as mobile phone, tablets, computer, etc. Instead of reading books, we read on tablets. We love to communicate with people through social media not verbally. Even children prefer doing their homework on the computer.
56 percent of parents of teens believe that their children are facing sleep troubles because of the use of electronics. Hence, more than half of the parents of sleep-deprived teens accuse electronics. Research on Children’s Health reports that the teens are struggling to fall asleep or wakes up due to excessive use of electronic gadgets.
Reasons to stay off electronics
The number one reason behind not being able to stay off electronics includes social media, irregular sleep schedules due to school projects and homework. And its effects the teens sleep schedules and lead to sleep-deprived.
A new has been presented which includes data from 1,018 parents with at least one child with an age group of 13 – 18 years. Most of the parents suggest that the reason behind the sleep disorder is the late-night use of electronics. Also, the stress of school homework and hectic schedule also contributes to sleep problems.
Effects of electronics on sleep
Loss of sleep due to the use of electronic devices before bedtime happens for various reasons. The number one reason is the screen light of the device that interferes with the melatonin production and circadian rhythms. Both promotes sleep and is related to the time and life functions.
Circadian rhythms: In our body, we have an internal clock which controls certain biological functions over a 24-hour period. This is referred to as circadian rhythms. Cell regeneration, appetite, and patterns of hormone production are related to circadian rhythms of a person, and circadian rhythms disorder plays a vital role in upsetting a person’s sleep-wake cycle.
Our brain reads the light and darkness and tells the hormone when to feel sleepy or awake. Hence, the light emitted from our electronic devices passes through the eye’s retina and causes delaying the releases of melatonin (a hormone which tells our brain that we are feeling tired); hence, leads to postponing fall asleep.
Hormonal role of digital devices and sleep
Human bodies respond physically when they are in contact with such devices. Our bodies feel stressed, and we become tense. This tension or stress releases the “flight or fight” response and releases cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone which generated by the adrenal glands, and eminent cortisol levels can break off sleep patterns. In the morning time, the level of cortisol stay high which makes us alert and as the day goes on, the level of cortisol diminish. This cycle helps us to keep our sleeping patterns correct. However, when we use electronic devices during bedtime, our cortisol level increases again and keep us awake for some more time.
Hence, to get good quality sleep, we need to unplug or turn off all electronics. The expert also suggests that we should make our bedroom completely device-free.