Yes. Television stimulates brain areas that interfere with sleep; it also suppresses the release of melatonin, a natural hormone important in day-night cycling.
Children and teens, especially, tend to use even-more stimulating gadgets near bedtime. Video games include rapid, graphic images. Computers, cell phones, and iPads support thousands of interactive applications that connect kids socially without any particular “off time.” Children with cell- or web-connected devices in their bedrooms get not only the sleep-depriving effect of bright screens at bedtime, but may also continue to play games and communicate with friends well after what parents might have thought was “lights out.”
There are significant social, health, and educational consequences facing kids who aren’t getting their needed 8-10 hours of sleep every night. Underslept children do poorer in school, often exhibiting “ADD-like” behavior. They have more trouble getting along with friends and family, and are more likely to struggle with obesity and depression.
Many teens who feel sleepy consume huge servings of coffee to stay awake, which can further disrupt their normal sleep rhythm and leave them even more sleep-deprived.
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