Kids Not Getting Enough Sleep Because of Smart Phones

FrgMstr

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I am the parents of two teenagers and I figured this out years ago, before any of these two large national surveys were done.

A 2014 study found that 80 percent of teens admitted to using their phones when they were supposed to be sleeping – a practice some call "vamping." Some said they stayed up most of the night when their parents thought they were asleep.


Teens are sneaky little bastards. That said the easy way is to make them turn their phones in at bedtime. That however can prove elusive sometimes. I put Screen Time on my kids phones, and BAM! I was immediately the most popular person in the house. However, all that said, even though what is written in the article referenced above is an obvious call out, the author, Jean M. Twenge, is the author of iGen as well. You can grab it at Amazon and it is a very good read.
 

Nukester

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my 15 and 20 year old daughters... Ahh that glow of the phone while they lay down before bed. Thankfully they are both getting better at just putting the damn things down. When I was younger there was no technology like this, just an old Atari with dead controllers. I did better things to make myself sleepy *Wink Wink*
 

Ur_Mom

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This is no different than I was at 16. Playing Sega all night long. Before that, you had kids with flashlights under the covers reading magazines or books.

When I was in my 20's, I'd fire up Age of Empires, Starcraft or whatever and play after the kids went to sleep. It really sucks when your game is disrupted by a kid waking up... at 8am. Shit. Time goes by so fast when you're in a good game.
 

RogueTadhg

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Article Correction:
"Kids Not getting enough sleep because all of the reasons"

I didn't have a phone. I played Tribes all day long in the amateur league before esports was a thing. Curse you, 5150. Curse you! If not, I'd be out with friends all night long.

I went from "Starsiege: Tribes" to "World of Warcraft" being around for Vanilla WoW was a blessing.

This is no different than I was at 16. Playing Sega all night long. Before that, you had kids with flashlights under the covers reading magazines or books.

When I was in my 20's, I'd fire up Age of Empires, Starcraft or whatever and play after the kids went to sleep. It really sucks when your game is disrupted by a kid waking up... at 8am. Shit. Time goes by so fast when you're in a good game.

Some people sleep to pass the time. Others play Civilization. I had once stayed at work way longer than closing time to finish 5 turns.
 
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xXaNaXx

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Let's see...you give your kids/teens a device which enables things that are more interesting than sleeping, then wonder why they won't sleep......

File that one under "Well, no shit".

But yes, super easy fix for that. Buy them a good old-fashioned alarm clock, then they have no excuse as to why they shouldn't turn in their phones an hour before bed, to be locked up in a faraday cage charging station enclosure, then re-distributed after they've finished getting ready for school in the morning and eating breakfast.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I once heard a story where a parenting expert recommended keeping a central charging location for kids phones, where once they go to bed, phones must be surrendered and charged for the night.

My stepson isn't old enough to have a phone yet (he is 9, turning 10 soon) but when we decide it is time for him to have one, I intend to enforce this rule.
 

arnemetis

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I remember playing rpgs on my Sega Nomad all night under the covers in high school. This is nothing new.
 

Guarana [BAWLS]

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Article Correction:
"Kids Not getting enough sleep because all of the reasons"

I didn't have a phone. I played Tribes all day long in the amateur league before esports was a thing. Curse you, 5150. Curse you! If not, I'd be out with friends all night long.

I went from "Starsiege: Tribes" to "World of Warcraft" being around for Vanilla WoW was a blessing.

Renegade and Shifter mods for me... Once upon a time I was consistently ranked in them....

#GodImFuckingOld
 

TrevorR

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Nothing new when compared to decades ago but the fact remains that these social media platforms, not the phone themselves, are changing the social dynamics of a generation. It also affects older adults addicted to their phones as well.

Nothing in history has had this big of an impact on the psychology of human beings. However, its not the technology, its social media.

Social media keeps kids up.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Renegade and Shifter mods for me... Once upon a time I was consistently ranked in them....

#GodImFuckingOld


I was a geek.

I got in trouble for staying up in bed READING BOOKS!

Never tried it with any electronics, though this was likely in part because my dearly beloved desktop wouldn't easily make it in to bed with me.
 

Armenius

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This is why you take the phones away from the kiddies when they go to bed at night. The vast majority are not mature enough and lack the self control at any age to refrain from piddling with it long into the night. Hell, many adults have that exact same problem.
I still slip into 2-3 in the morning quite often when I have to wake up at 5:15 to get to work by 7...
 

oldmanbal

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Just got my son an iphone 5s my brother in law didn't need and he's 10. He's asked for one since he was 4 but I never saw any need for it. He already has laptops desktops, a tablet ect so it wasn't really a big deal. He mostly uses it for photo/videos and playing time wasting games in the car.

Unfortunately there are MANY parents that use electronic devices as parent replacements and the device doesn't actually deserve the blame. It's no different than pawning their kids off on a TV, computer, or game system indefinitely. I really don't see how this bit of tech is different than any other that has prohibited kids from being outside living an existence that includes their actual planet and its inhabitants. Many may argue we are heading into a future where living with nature is no longer required, but thankfully there are people who have a different point of view on the matter. If you can't be proud of your kids then what have you accomplished in your lifetime that will remain?
 

Makaveli@BETA

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Not a problem for a Parents with tech skills.

Set a time limit for their devices in the router where internet access is cut off at bed time.

Make it a habit to monitor the router logs from time to time.

This will work well for children under 10.
 

tordogs

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Night owls be night owls. I stayed up half the night DXing on the transistor radio or reading volumes of the World Book encyclopedia. Now that was a long time ago. Still a night owl, just easier to do now with all the modern conveniences.
 

SomeoneElse

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This is why you take the phones away from the kiddies when they go to bed at night. The vast majority are not mature enough and lack the self control at any age to refrain from piddling with it long into the night. Hell, many adults have that exact same problem.
This would include my wife.....she was literally complaining about having a cold for 2 weeks last night and I told her if she would just go to bed and not be on her phone until 12 am she would get the rest she needs. I have young kids and they get up early still.
 

Zepher

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I love tech but I am not tethered to my phone.
It seems nearly everyone I know is tethered to their phones, pulling it out every few minutes.
When I go to bed, I leave my phone in the garage.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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My kids are getting a flip-phone when they're about 10. That's it.

They can buy their own iPhone if they want one.

Part of the problem is that kids see no use in flip phones, so they forget them (or intentionally leave them behind.)

If you want to be able to reach your kid when you need to, you're going to want them to have their phone on them...

At 9 going on 10 I see absolutely no need for my stepson to have one yet. We live across the street from the school and walk over there and pick him up every day though, so there is less of a communication need.

As Middle School comes along, with bus rides and a little bit more autonomy, it may start becoming a need. Time will tell.

You bet before he ever gets one we will have one of those "teen cellphone contracts" everyone was talking about a couple of years ago in place. The rules will be well documented and understood, as will the consequences if they are not followed.

I have a few years to figure it out, but by that time I need to figure out how to have the phone be incapable of data overages. Something that allows him his allotted 2GB or so per month, and then just stops working or slows down to a crawl when it is used up.
 

NeghVar

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This is no different than I was at 16. Playing Sega all night long. Before that, you had kids with flashlights under the covers reading magazines or books.

It was books that kept me up late and into the morning during my childhood. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Chronicles of Narnia in particular.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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It was books that kept me up late and into the morning during my childhood. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Chronicles of Narnia in particular.

I never got into the Lord of the Rings. I tried, but the first 40 pages of maps, and escriptions of languages always turned me off before I ever got started.

I got more into SciFi. Isaac Aasimov was a favorite. I also read older authors like Jules Verne, and thriller type novels like those by Tom Clancy.

And - of course - the Hitchikers Guide for laughs.
 

Jaymzkerten

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I have a few years to figure it out, but by that time I need to figure out how to have the phone be incapable of data overages. Something that allows him his allotted 2GB or so per month, and then just stops working or slows down to a crawl when it is used up.

Not sure how many phones have it but on my Pixel 2 there's an option to set a data limit.

OT: For me it was Tetris on my Gameboy with a flashlight in my mouth. Didn't have the money to get one of those fancy flashlight attachments for the Gameboy.
 

Ur_Mom

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I never got into the Lord of the Rings. I tried, but the first 40 pages of maps, and escriptions of languages always turned me off before I ever got started.

I got more into SciFi. Isaac Aasimov was a favorite. I also read older authors like Jules Verne, and thriller type novels like those by Tom Clancy.

And - of course - the Hitchikers Guide for laughs.

OMNI magazine in the 80's was great. That's where I found Asimov, Gibson, etc..

Hitchhikers Guide series was and still is one of my favorite books ever. It was top notch.
 

focbde

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With you on this one Kyle, our eldest is the only one with any sort of device and we take it out of her room as soon as it's lights out time.
 

Trimlock

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I got little sleep as a kid because of computers, shocking kids these days has an excuse to get little sleep.

Hint: teenagers will find a reason to get little sleep, phones aren’t the culprit.
 

travbrad

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I have a few years to figure it out, but by that time I need to figure out how to have the phone be incapable of data overages. Something that allows him his allotted 2GB or so per month, and then just stops working or slows down to a crawl when it is used up.

I know through Ting you can set data limits (or just disallow data entirely) for specific devices on your "plan" through their website. It's one of those rare "pay only for what you actually use" type providers. Maybe some other cell phone data plans can do the same I'm not sure. They do have an incentive to let you go over after all...
 
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steakman1971

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I have a preteen that acts like her life depends on her phone. I use the Disney Circle hardware/app on all of the kids devices (and even put it on some Roku's as the kids figured out they could sneak downstairs and watch TV).
Circle is easy enough for the Mrs. to use and works reasonably well.
We are very close to doing a "turn it in" policy on the kids. I can block iPhones/iPad data -but Apple doesn't support a device lockout and no multi-user system. Seems like they are way behind times on this...

When I was a teenager, I played Ultima 3 & 4 until like 4 in the morning during school nights. I was a zombie at school - took a nap, ate dinner, started it back up the next day. I also was downloading/uploading at night - we had a single phone line and modems were damn slow. My first was a 300 baud one! I could type faster than it could send :)
 

Master_shake_

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kids not getting enough sleep because of rock music, then video games, then cell phones.

wow look at that as technology advances so do the things people like to do.

science is fucking stupid.
 
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Derangel

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Kids will always find a reason to stay up. Sleep is boring, why would kids want to do something boring when there are a million other things they could do? My mother started working 3rd shift when I was in middle school and from then until I graduated I'd get 4-6 hours of sleep per night. It all started with staying up to play FF7. I didn't have an internet capable computer in my room until I was 15 and got my own. You can't blame technology for kids not wanting to sleep, it is just kids being kids and that's all there is to it.
 

N4CR

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I used to have a problem reading when I was supposed to go to sleep, or even listening to weird radio stations, well before smartphones were a thing. Closest thing we had later was portable gaming bricks.
Ended up a total night owl and made that my business.


So don't worry about it, it's not really anything new. Some kids will sleep early, some will be late/short sleepers.
 

focbde

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Kids will always find a reason to stay up. Sleep is boring, why would kids want to do something boring when there are a million other things they could do? My mother started working 3rd shift when I was in middle school and from then until I graduated I'd get 4-6 hours of sleep per night. It all started with staying up to play FF7. I didn't have an internet capable computer in my room until I was 15 and got my own. You can't blame technology for kids not wanting to sleep, it is just kids being kids and that's all there is to it.

No-one is 'blaming' technology, but it can certainly contribute. It will always take longer to fall asleep if you are actually interacting with something like a PC game, or messing on a smartphone, as opposed to watching a movie or reading a book where you don't interact.
 
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