Addressing sleep issues and taking steps to improve sleep can be beneficial for numerous public health concerns, such as cardiovascular health, diabetes, mental health and obesity.
Teenagers, technology and sleep
At the 2012 Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association Conference, adolescent clinical psychologist Dr Amanda Gamble outlined the results of the ABC’s National Science Week Big Sleep Survey, which involved 1,184 participants aged 11 to 17.
The survey found that teenagers frequently use electronic devices during the hours of normal sleep. Mobile phones and computers appear to be particularly invasive, perhaps due to a combination of the light they emit (which suppresses melatonin levels and delays sleep onset) and their stimulating, interactive nature.
Device usage is linked with going to sleep and waking later, and ‘social jetlag’ (sleeping in on weekends), over and above the natural tendency towards irregularities in adolescents, Dr Gamble said.
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