Washington: Blame night texting for your teenager’s falling grades and increased yawning in school as a new study has revealed that instant messaging in the dark makes a difference compared to having the lights on.
The Rutgers study is the first of its kind to link nighttime instant messaging habits of American teenagers to sleep health and school performance.
Study author Xue Ming said that people need to be aware that teenagers are using electronic devices excessively and have a unique physiology and so, they tend to go to sleep late and get up late. “When we go against that natural rhythm, students become less efficient.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that media use among children of all ages is increasing exponentially; studies have found that children ages 8 to 18 use electronic devices approximately seven-and-a-half hours daily.
Ming found that students who turned off their devices or who messaged for less than 30 minutes after lights out performed significantly better in school than those who messaged for more than 30 minutes after lights out.
Students, who texted longer in the dark, also slept fewer hours and were sleepier during the day than those who stopped messaging when they went to bed. Texting before lights out did not affect academic performance, the study found.
Ming suggests that educators recognize the sleep needs of teenagers and incorporate sleep education in their curriculum.
The study is published in the Journal of Child Neurology. (ANI)