A new study in Pediatrics looked at the effects of caffeine and technology on sleep and daytime functioning of adolescents, and it provided some fascinating insights.
Too Much Screen Time
The findings noted that of the participants, only 20% slept 8 hours per night. Participants averaged 1.5 hours of television after 9 pm, with the average adolescent using 4 forms of technology after 9 PM (cell phone, internet, video games, etc.).
A “multi-tasking” index was created and it was found that increased caffeine intake was positively correlated with a higher level of technology multi-tasking.
School Work Suffers
Higher multi-tasking was found to correlate with less sleep, with 1/3 of the subjects reporting that they have fallen asleep in class. In addition, another recent study showed teenagers who keep a late schedule score poorer in school than those who maintain a more traditional sleep routine.
What To Do? Cut Back Use
The practical applications of these findings are clear. Limit your children’s intake of caffeine, especially in the evening. Reduce their amount of technology exposure. And do your best to have them get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
The result should be a healthier child, one who performs better at school and is less likely to fall asleep during normal daily activities, such as attending class or even driving an automobile.