“How Technology and Sleep Deprivation Affect Teens”

“How Technology and Sleep Deprivation Affect Teens”

“How Technology and Sleep Deprivation Affect Teens” ichhori.com


Teenagers do not switch off their cellphones when they go to bed. They are known for staying up late browsing through their social media accounts. As a result, sleep deprivation and technology have become interlinked. It even has a name: vamping, which refers to mythological nocturnal creatures. Vamping, on the other hand, doesn't only keep teenagers from getting adequate sleep. It also puts their mental health at risk.

Between the ages of 15 and 17, 96% of teens use electronics in their bedrooms. The average adolescent spends up to nine hours each day in front of a screen. The effects of blue light from these electronic gadgets on the sleep-wake cycle are causing rising worry among experts. Two out of every three teens sleeps less than the required amount of time, and screen usage may be to blame for sleep deprivation and other issues.

Reasons why teenagers stay up late

  • They want to make a connection. Teenagers have a strong need to connect emotionally with their peers. And having some peaceful, alone time at night allows them to connect with other teenagers via social media.
  • During the day, they're too busy. Teens' schedules are frequently overbooked. Sports sessions, music classes, and schoolwork are all on their to-do list. As a result, they feel deprived of free time. As a result, vamping becomes a means for them to unwind. Social media can be quite addicting. Overuse of technology in general, and social media in particular, generates a stimulation pattern comparable to that of other addictive habits, according to scientists. Receiving "likes" on social media stimulates the same pathways in the teenage brain as eating chocolate or earning money, according to one study. The growing teen brain is rewired as a result of regular usage of social media. As a result, teenagers are always looking for instant gratification. 
  • Teenagers do not have the same ability to plan ahead as adults. The teenage brain is still developing. As a result, the brain regions that govern impulses and decision-making are not completely formed. As a result, teenagers have a harder time making decisions based on how they might feel in the future. This involves turning off the phone so that they are not exhausted the next day. Insomnia and cell phones have a close relationship.

Screens affect the Sleep-Wake Cycle

The human sleep-wake cycle is governed by a circadian rhythm that is mostly influenced by sunlight. We become more attentive when it is bright outside. When it becomes dark, the body generates melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Short-wavelength blue light is emitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops, television displays, and some e-readers, and it is quite similar to sunlight. This light not only makes us more awake, but it also tricks our bodies into believing it's still daytime. The body generates less melatonin as a result, disrupting the body's normal sleep-wake cycle. The longer one spends in front of a screen, the worse it is for one’s sleep.

The combination of Blue Light, Technology and Sleep Deprivation

Cell phones and sleep are a terrible mix, according to science. In fact, the technology keeps teenagers awake so they can keep browsing. The artificial blue light emitted by smartphones stimulates arousing neurons in the brain, according to a research published in Nature by Charles Czeisler. As a result, these chemicals prevent the body from producing melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. As a result, not only does smartphone use hinder teenagers from getting enough sleep, but it also makes them feel less tired. When they finally do close their eyes, technology has a negative impact on their sleep quality.

Mental Health Effects of Sleep Deprivation and Technology

The next day after vamping, teenagers are yawning and sluggish. Vamping, on the other hand, has side effects that go beyond feeling drowsy throughout the day. Teenagers can suffer greatly from sleep deprivation. Emotional regulation in teenagers, teen depression, teen risk-taking behaviours, and teen substance addiction can all be significantly impacted by a lack of sleep over time.

Late-night texting and phone use were connected to negative emotions, low self-esteem, and poor coping abilities, according to researchers. Another effect of technology and sleep deprivation was decreased academic performance. Teenagers feel depressed as a result of the harmful impacts of social media. According to a research, the more teens used Facebook, the lower their levels of life satisfaction were. However, sleep deprivation is connected to depression, regardless of the cause. Teenagers who don't get enough sleep are more depressed and anxious, according to studies. Each hour of lost sleep was connected to a 38 percent increase in the likelihood of feeling depressed or hopeless, as well as a 58 percent increase in suicide attempts, according to researchers.

Technology and Sleep Deprivation Affects Emotions

Stressors triggered higher emotion in those who had missed a night's sleep. Sleep deprivation has a detrimental influence on the brain's emotional control circuit, according to a study. As a result, vamping teenagers have less emotional control. Scientists discovered that sleep-deprived teenagers perceived stressful circumstances as significantly more dangerous. Teenagers who spend all night on their phones are more prone to experience emotional outbursts in response to everyday situations. Furthermore, adolescent emotional self-regulation is already a challenge. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates self-control, is undeveloped in teenagers. As a result, their already restricted ability to self-regulate is exacerbated by a lack of sleep.

Technology and Sleep Deprivation can lead to Substance Abuse and Addiction

Sleep deprivation has been linked to a teen's likelihood of using drugs and alcohol. The disturbance of the regular sleep cycle, according to a research published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, interferes with brain processes that control reward, emotions, and impulsivity. As a result, late-night phone use can increase the risk of substance abuse substantially. High school students who sleep fewer than eight hours per night are substantially more likely than those who sleep eight hours or more per night to drink alcohol (46% vs. 34%), smoke marijuana (23% vs. 17%), and use illegal drugs for the rest of their lives (16% vs. 11%).

According to a review research published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, the addictive nature of social media might lead to other addictive behaviours. According to the study, in certain chronic users, abruptly ceasing online social networking may cause signs and symptoms similar to those seen during drug/alcohol/nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Furthermore, because their impulse control is weakened, teenagers who receive little sleep are more likely to participate in hazardous activities. Sleep disturbances and hours of sleep might indicate a variety of issues. Binge drinking, intoxicated driving, and unprotected sex are a few examples.


It is recommended that young people avoid all devices for at least an hour before going to bed so that their brains can relax. Sleep deprivation is not a natural aspect of adolescence. Even the most resilient children are affected by the symptoms and consequences, which may be catastrophic for those who are predisposed to mood disorders such as depression. Sleep deprivation may have a substantial detrimental influence on a young person's well-being, as well as their relationships with family and friends and their ability to achieve their full academic potential. Additional sleep instruction is needed, as well as more resources for students. Parents and teachers can lower their expectations and reduce pressures that disrupt teen sleep. In addition, a cultural shift is required, including a move to prohibit late-night electronic device usage in order to assist teenagers to get the much-needed rest.


Sources:

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-50140111

  2. https://childmind.org/article/happens-teenagers-dont-get-enough-sleep/

  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/teenagers-and-sleep

  4. https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/10/among-teens-sleep-deprivation-an-epidemic.html

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5669315/

  6. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/teens-and-sleep/screen-time-and-insomnia-for-teens




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