Does your teen have to check her phone the second a text comes in, no matter what she’s doing? Does texting regularly interrupt mealtime and homework time? Does it seem like your teen is constantly “on call”? If so, have you considered the impact texting may be having on her sleep?
Night Texting and Sleep Requirements
Healthy teenagers actually need more sleep than elementary school children: about 9.5 hours per night. But for teens struggling with a texting addiction, getting adequate sleep at night may be a serious challenge.
Your teen’s obsession with checking texts the second they are received doesn’t turn off after lights-out, and plenty of their friends are still awake texting them after hours.
Signs of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep-deprived teens may become listless, moody, or irritable. They may have trouble staying awake all day, begin failing in school, or complain of headaches or feeling physically weak. You may also notice physical changes, such as dark undereye circles and yawning.
Long-Term Consequences of Sleep Deprivation
The effects of prolonged sleep deprivation range from general crankiness to migraines and more serious health problems such as type II diabetes and hypertension.
Inadequate sleep also makes for dangerous drivers and poor report cards.
What to Do About a Night Texting Addiction
If you suspect that your teen is texting all night at the expense of a good night’s sleep, take a look at the phone bill. It will show the time of each text, so you’ll know whether they’re texting when they’re supposed to be sleeping.
The biggest thing parents can do to help their kids get some sleep is to remove the phone from their bedroom at night. Keep it downstairs and turned off, or keep it in your room. Your kids are sure to dislike the new rule, but they’ll get used to it.
Your kids didn’t like it when they were toddlers and they probably won’t like it now, but parents need to set limits. If a child’s late-night texting is having an ill effect on them, then putting an end to it is in their best interest.
This post was contributed by Jenny Evans and originally appeared on www.kidsafe.me.