Electronics Made Me Do It

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National poll reveals 43% of parents say their teen has trouble sleeping; social media and cellphones cited as top reasons

Electronics Made Me Do It

It’s no secret that many teenagers stay up late to scroll through social media or catch up with friends on their phones.

In fact, 56% of parents of teens who have trouble sleeping say the use of electronics is hurting their child’s shut-eye.

Forty-three percent of parents report that their teen struggles to fall asleep or wakes up and can’t get back to sleep, according to researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. A quarter of parents surveyed say their child experiences occasional sleep problems (one or two nights per week), while 18% say their teen struggles with sleep three or more nights per week. 

Not being able to stay off electronics, including social media and cellphones, was the No. 1 reason parents cited for sleep disturbance. 

Other reasons included irregular sleep schedules due to homework or activities (43%), worries about school (31%), and concerns about social life (23%). Ten percent of parents polled say their teen’s sleep problems are related to a health condition or medication.

“This poll suggests that sleep problems are common among teens and parents believe late-night use of electronics is a main contributor,” says poll co-director Sarah Clark. “Teens’ hectic schedules and homework load, as well as anxiety about school performance and peer relationships, also are seen by parents as contributing to sleep problems.”

Forty percent of parents of teens with frequent sleep problems and 22% of parents of teens with occasional sleep problems say they have talked to a doctor about sleep struggles. 

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