The Effect of Night Time Cell Phone Use on Teenagers

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If you think that radiation to the head area is the worst danger of using a cell phone, you may want to hear the latest study from the Child Development journal.

A new study shows definitively that using a cell phone at night increases anxiety and depression – with a rise of 70 percent in these mental health problems in teenagers.  Why is that?

  • Using a phone at night leads to poor sleep habits.
  • The light from the screen suppresses melatonin, which promotes sleep.
  • Input from the phone, whether from conversations or from video content, stimulates teenage brains and makes it hard for them to drop off to sleep.

Lack of sleep often leads to depression and lowered self-esteem, and there’s a definite link between depression and delinquency, the study finds.

What can parents do? It may be really hard, but you’re going to have to make bedrooms media-free. All phones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices and anything else electronic should be in your bedroom at bedtime. No exceptions.

Yes, it will cause a minor riot at your house. Yes, the kids will hate it. Just do it.

Since 1992, Dr. Robinson has worked in a variety counseling positions. She is also a popular author and speaker on topics ranging from childhood development and sexuality, teen issues, family dynamics including caring for elderly relatives, and church resources for families.

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