Why Parents Should Ban Smartphones From Their Kids’ Bedrooms

Should parents ban smartphones from their kids’ rooms at night? It’s probably a good idea, according to new research.

Why? Because more than 20 percent of teenagers say they “almost always” wake up during the night to check or post on social media, a habit that disrupts their sleep, increases fatigue at school and may harm their sense of well-being.

“It seems [very] important to discourage adolescents from using social media during the night,” Dr. Kimberly Horton, a research assistant at Cardiff University in the U.K. and one of the study’s authors, said in a written statement. “No amount of effort to develop regular bedtimes or to lengthen the time in bed would seem to be able to compensate for the disruption that this can cause.”

For the study, researchers from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data asked more than 800 12- to 15-year-olds about their sleep habits — including how often they woke up at night to use social media. Researchers also asked about the teens’ levels of energy and well-being.

What did the researchers find? Waking up at night to use social networking platforms like Snapchat and Instagram was surprisingly common. Twenty-two percent of 12- and 13-year-olds and 23 percent of 14- and 15-year-olds said they “almost always” did so. More than a third said they did at least once a week.

This behavior seems to take a real toll. More than half of the heavier nighttime social media users said they usually go to school feeling tired.

“In turn, we find a significant association between feeling tired when they go to school and their overall levels of subjective well-being,” Dr. Chris Taylor, a researcher at Cardiff and one of the study’s authors, added in an email to The Huffington Post.

For some teens, this combination could —> Read More