Late Night Texting: A Nightmare for Teens

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Allowing your kids to send texts or use the Internet before bed may give them problems sleeping at night and problems at school during the day, according to a pilot study at the JFK Medical Center.

The study found that texting and other electronic interactions are linked to restlessness, insomnia, and leg pain at night in young people ages 8 to 22.

Researchers studied 40 kids (60 percent boys, 40 percent girls), average age 14.5. They found the boys were more likely to surf the Net and game online, while girls preferred to text or use their cell phones.

And not just a few texts here and there, these kids were very active. They were sending 33 messages a night (3,400 a month) and the messages were waking them up at least once a night.

"Children who engage in pre-bedtime use of technology have a high rate of daytime problems, which can include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression and learning difficulties," said lead researcher Peter G. Polos PhD.

The study, called The Effect of Sleep Time Related Information and Communication Technology (STRICT) on Sleep Patterns and Daytime Functioning in Children and Young Adults: A Pilot Study, suggests parents consider taking computers out of the bedroom and regulate times for texting and other technology use.

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