3 Reasons Why your Teen Shouldn't Sleep with a Smartphone in the Bedroom
Most teens keep their phones within an arm's reach at all times, including when they’re sleeping. Just like adults, many teens keep their phones charging next to the bed at night. After all, smartphones have long since replaced the need for an alarm clock which makes the phone a valuable tool. The convenience of keeping a smartphone in the bedroom, however, is heavily outweighed by the potential downsides for teens.
If your teen keeps their phone with them during the overnight hours, you may want to think twice about allowing this habit to continue. Creating a rule that says all electronics – including smartphones – must be shut off and turned in by a certain time each night can benefit teens in several ways.
Here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t allow your teen to sleep with a smartphone in the bedroom:
1. Smartphones Keep Teens Awake
Sleep deprivation is a major problem among people of all ages, but a lack of sleep can be especially dangerous for teenagers. And electronics are a major culprit that can interfere with sleep.
The light emitted from screens interferes with a teen’s biological clock when it’s used close to bedtime. Backlit screens, like those found on smartphones, can interfere with brain's melatonin production, which can make it difficult for teens to fall asleep.
But trouble falling asleep isn't the only problem caused by smartphones.
Throughout the night, teens often receive phone calls, text messages, and social media alerts. The noises tend to wake them up and very few of them have the willpower to resist replying. Using a phone for even a few minutes during the middle of the night can prevent a teen from getting quality sleep.
2. It’s Not Healthy for Teens to Constantly Use Their Phones
Some teens become very dependent on technology and feel the need to always be available to friends. They may use a smartphone as a type of security blanket and being without it for even a few minutes can lead to anxiety. It’s not healthy for teens to be some dependent on their technological devices that they can't tolerate being unplugged for even a few minutes at a time.
After all, there are times in life that it’s not appropriate to be texting and talking to friends. Help your teen realize now that they can do just fine without being in constant communication with their peers. Taking away their phone at a certain time in the evening will give your teen an opportunity to be alone with their thoughts without distractions from technology.
3. Peer Pressure and Unhealthy Choices
There aren't very many good ideas get hatched at 3 a.m. In fact, teens may try to tempt one another to sneak out of the house or send inappropriate photos at all hours of the night.
Although your teen may be exposed to these types of conversations at any time of day, the overnight hours can make your teen particularly vulnerable.
By taking away your teen’s phone before bedtime, your teen can send a clear message to friends, “I am not available in the middle of the night.” It takes the pressure off your teen who may feel obligated to talk to a friend who can’t sleep or reply to social media messages in the middle of the night. Many teens are actually relieved to be able to say, “My parents don’t let me have my phone so I can’t reply.”
Create a designated area or basket where electronics need to be turned in by a certain time, such as 8 p.m. on school nights. Then, allow your teen to pick up those items again in the morning. Although it may take some getting used to on your teen’s part, after a while, being without a phone at night can become like second nature.
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