By Alan Lyndon
Teens don’t get enough sleep. That’s not new information. The question is: what can parents do about it?
Last year, a study found that 96 percent of teens use at least one high-tech device in the hour before bedtime. The latest and greatest and brightest screens on those smartphones were found to lower levels of melatonin, a hormone that prompts sleep, by as much as 37 percent.
And The National Sleep Foundation says that fewer than 15 percent of teens get the required 8 to 8.5 hours per night. So what are the consequences to teens?
Poorer performance in school; poorer performance in youth sports; amplified teen angst behaviors like moodiness, irritability and depression.
Forcefield — a monitoring app for parents to help protect their child from cyberbullying, inappropriate content, Internet addiction and digital sleep deprivation — has offered advice to help teens get more zzzz’s:
Make Use of the Landline
Research reveals that one of the main reasons teens stay tethered to their devices at night is to “be there in case a friend is in need.” Parents can help calm teens by advising them to give the landline to friends for a true, after-hours emergency.
Minimize Blue Light Exposure
Must be on a device? Have teens include https://justgetflux.com on their devices. This nifty tool makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to time of day to better match Circadian rythyms. During the day, the screen is brighter and at night, it shifts into a warm glow.
Limit Morning Madness
Streamline the Morning Routine: Parents can’t change school start times, but they can help teens simplify the morning routine as much as humanly possible. That means doing things like the shower, picking clothes, packing lunch and doing homework the night before and extending the amount of morning sleep time as much as possible.