Screen Time Affects Adolescent Sleep

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Amy Larsen, Staff Writer

Although there are many things in life playing a role in the quality of your sleep, electronic screen time is found to be a big one. According to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, reading from a device such as an iPad can make it harder to fall asleep as well as affect your alertness the next day. The screen light keeps you awake for the time being, but makes it harder to sleep in the end.

Scientifically speaking, the blue light from the screen is proven to suppress melatonin levels, which is a hormone in your brain that helps you fall asleep. Naturally, your body releases melatonin when it becomes dark, around 9 p.m., and stops when it becomes light in the morning. Bright lights from laptops, phones, and other screens can interfere with this natural release and lower the quality of your sleep.

The majority of teens these days go on some sort of device within an hour of going to bed.

“I go on my phone every night for about 15 minutes,” sophomore Arden Creson said. “It’s sometimes distracting and keeps me up.”

Not only will it prevent you from falling asleep as quickly as your body should, but going on devices in the evening can also distract from work that needs to be done and forces students to stay up later.

“I don’t notice a significant difference in quality of sleep,” sophomore Morgan Johnson said. “But I’m sure it would help to log off earlier.”

Overall, of the many factors playing in sleep quality, screen time is a big component when it comes down to it.