The Effects of Late-Night Phone Use on Adolescent Health
It’s not a crime to stay up late playing on your phone, but there are definitely some very well-documented deficits to your health when you regularly engage with smartphones close and during bedtime.
While some adolescents in your household might think so, they aren’t exempt from the shortfalls in health as a result of using mobile phones late at night. If they needed some proof of the bad effects that come from not putting the phone down at certain times, we have a collection of informative and factual reasons that will serve to point them in the right direction.
Using a smartphone can interrupt good sleep
You can fork out all the money in the world for bedroom furniture that will give your teens the best night’s sleep, but if they’re glued to their phones, then the blue light will act to disrupt the production of melatonin; this is the hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle.
The standout negative effects of this will result in increased sleepless nights, which is never a good thing when younger members of the family are still developing. Fatigue is also bad for their overall mood, not to mention the potential for the onset of depression and anxiety.
Using a smartphone can damage your eyes
The blue light that’s emitted from your mobile phone is one element of the full light spectrum. This is something that we are exposed to via the sun’s rays; however, when humans, particularly adolescents are exposed to this at nighttime, it can be damaging to their vision.
Direct exposure to blue light can also damage your retinas over time. This might not be an instant concern for younger members of the family, but loss of vision should not be taken lightly, therefore, making them aware of the dangers they are faced with is important.
Using a smartphone can affect attention spans
Your teens might be alone when they are using their phones at night, but this doesn’t mean that the effects stay in the bedroom. You might think that they don’t listen at the best of times, but just imagine if their attention spans are lessened due to smartphone use at bedtime.
Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of using our phones too much, especially at night, but you’ve got to lead by example because adults are more likely to be aware of the fact that the simple presence of a smartphone causes a distraction.
Using a smartphone might cause electromagnetic radiation problems
At present, there’s no concrete evidence on the matter, scientists claim that radiation from smartphones has been said to be connected to health problems.
The scientists who conducted the study have called on the World Health Organization and governments and the UN, to introduce rigorous regulations concerning mobile phones that produce electromagnetic fields.
What can you do to overcome these issues?
If you are concerned with the problems associated with adolescents in your family using their smartphones at night, there are ways that you can approach the subject to help them reduce their nighttime usage.
Obviously showing them the points raised above will help but talk with your teen about their phone use is also a really effective method too.
It could do more harm than good if you were to lay down a new set of stringent rules in regard to mobile phones use in the bedroom, so have a chat with them and see if they are aware of the health issues themselves.
Put the ball in their court and give them choices, explain how scrolling through social media right throughout the night can have negative effects on their health and wellbeing.
Another informed choice you can opt for is to form a regular bedtime routine that the entire family can/will realistically adhere to.
Bedtime routines for young children are frequently talked about, but bedtime rituals are also just as important for the adolescents in the family, too.
Promote quiet activity in the two hours leading up to before bed, whatever that may be. You can show that you are practising what you preach by having a certain room, or spot in the house where each member of the family can deposit their phones within an allotted time period before you tuck yourselves into bed.
You can also adopt, the use of mindfulness apps or listening to soothing music to aid in relaxing their minds and bodies before bed.
These are just a couple of the ideas you can use to help your teens to understand how to overcome the negative effects associated with using a smartphone at night. Essentially, there isn’t a stock, black-or-white answer that works for each family, it’s about finding a balance and bringing awareness on the matter.