In a world with social media, smartphones, and tablets, it can be hard to disconnect. We often stay up later than expected as we scroll through our Facebook feed while lying in bed or watching T.V. Even for adults, it’s easy to lose track of time while engaging on social media instead of getting a good night’s sleep. Now, imagine if you had been born into an era where instant connectivity, social feeds and communication that takes place via a mobile device were all you knew? Meet today’s teenager, a new generation who stays up sometimes all night communicating through numerous social medias and can’t imagine not being instantly connected. These teens, seemingly addicted to their electronic devices have been dubbed as vampire children.
Vampire children spend countless hours at night texting their friends or playing on their phones while missing out on very valuable sleep. The Daily Mail reported that there is a large group of teenagers who are addicted to the Internet and are only getting a fraction of the recommended sleep they need. Experts have said that teenagers need at least eight to ten hours of sleep.
Teenagers who stay up late often brag about it and post selfies on their social media channels. They call it “vamping,” as reported by the New York Times. Vamping allows teens to stay connected to their friends via social channels at all times. This downside of this is that they only sleep for a few hours a night.
What effect does the lack of sleep have on teenagers?
Lack of sleep leads to problems such as the inability to concentrate as well as many long-term health issues. Chronic sleep loss can lead to heart health issues, high blood pressure, strokes, and insomnia. Lack of sleep also affects the way we learn and when teenagers are tired it’s harder for them to focus, concentrate, reason, and problem solve. For teenagers that are driving, it’s very dangerous to be behind the wheel if they are tired. Sleep related accidents are on the rise and are the number two cause of auto accidents, only second to alcohol.
It’s crucial to make sure that our teenagers, as well as parents, get their best night’s sleep. Removing electronics and having a quiet, dark room will make falling asleep, and staying asleep much easier. Your teen is never too old to have their electronic devices taken away from them at night. As a parent, you can lead by the same example and you’ll even start to notice that you feel more rested when you wake up in the morning.
Try it tonight! Remove all handheld electronics out of the bedroom and set up a dark, comfortable sleeping space. Your body will thank you in the morning!