By year 11, 80% of young people use their phone after lights out!
Fresh Australian research tracked kids for 4 years and found that as a result of night-time phone use they slept badly, which led to poorer mental health, lower self-esteem and increased problem behaviour.
These tired teens had less ability to cope, were more depressed, more aggressive and delinquent.
Two-thirds of year eights received or sent texts or calls after bedtime, and the proportion rose each year through the study. The children who were big late-night users were surveyed a year later and had higher levels of depression than their peers, worse behaviour, and lower self-esteem.
This suggests that one thing leads to another and to another – phone use interrupts sleep, which in turn lowers wellbeing. Furthermore, the higher the usage, the bigger the effect on sleep, and the worse the consequences.
Having a phone in the bedroom is just too tempting, or too hard to avoid, and over time the bad habit gets worse.
A US study found that 9-13-year-olds with phones or tablets in their rooms got 21 minutes less sleep a night (compared to 18 minutes less sleep if there was a TV in the room).
What to do? Phones, tablets and TVs need to be out of bedrooms after lights out. Ye olde alarm clocks need to replace them if needed. That could save a lot of unnecessary angst all round.
On the school website there is advice on sources of information and support (Current families > Counselling).