Technology has become an inseparable part of everyday life for most people all over the world. However, when considering the demographic that has been affected by technological advances to the greatest degree, one should mention adolescents. Although the identified age group uses IT tools consciously, the target demographic has rather loose control over the time that the process consumes, hence a range of issues associated with health. Due to the excessive use of technology at bedtime, adolescents face the threat of disrupting their sleep patterns and developing difficulty falling asleep.
We will write a custom Report on Electronic Devices Use and Sleep in US Adolescents specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The active use of Sleep Time-Related Information and Communication Technology (STRICT) devices during bedtime and directly before going to sleep may have drastic consequences for children and adolescents. A recent study shows that the specified behavior may result in acquiring issues such as “insomnia, daytime sleepiness and evening chronotype” (Polos et al., 2015, p. 235). The specified problems have a detrimental effect on the psychological and physical development of children and adolescents, causing significant complications in the future and determining the development of chronic sleep disorders (Polos et al., 2015). Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018) also warn that sleep deprivation is likely to cause significant health concerns. Not only mental health but also the physical functioning of an individual suffering from the lack of sleep will be severely disrupted (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Therefore, the introduction of a framework for changing the habits of the vulnerable population is required.
Furthermore, studies show that there is a direct correlation between the use of technology at bedtime among adolescents and their following functioning during the daytime. As Johansson, Petrisko, and Chasens (2016) explain, the adolescents that interact with IT devices before going to bed develop issues such as sleepiness during the daytime and feeling unrefreshed when waking up. During the process of data collection, the authors discovered that most of the participants tended to go to bed very late, which affected the quality of their sleep and their ability to normally function over the next day (Johansson et al., 2016). Similarly, LeBourgeois et al. (2017) point to the fact that sufficient sleep duration has to be recognized as a crucial factor in shaping an individual’s mental health. The alterations in the sleep duration patterns observed among adolescents showed that the time of sleep was shortened significantly after the introduction of innovative technology, particularly, social media, into the environment of the global society (LeBourgeois, 2017). Therefore, it will be reasonable to state that the connection between the specified variables is evident.
Other pieces of evidence also indicate that electronic devices used before bedtime affect the duration of sleep in adolescents largely. The connection between a drop in the number of sleep hours among the target demographic and the propensity toward using electronic devices to access social media has also been confirmed by Twenge, Krizan, and Hisler (2017). According to the authors, the specified type of behavior is especially characteristic of adolescents. The observed tendency can be explained by the significance with which the target demographic imbues social media as a tool for communication with peers and sharing information. As a result, the phenomenon to which Twenge et al. (2017) refer as “sleep recession” (p. 49) is becoming increasingly more common within the identified age group.
Thus, a model for encouraging positive behavioral changes among the specified demographic should be the focus of further studies. At present, there is a strong possibility that adolescents that develop sleep problems due to the specified behavior may acquire the propensity toward mental health concerns such as depression and even suicidal ideation in the future (Polos et al., 2015). Particularly, one will have to use the therapies involving relaxation techniques to restore sleep-wake patterns in adolescents that have been affected by the negative influence of electronic devices. The specified approach should be coupled with the active promotion of healthy use of electronic devices by school psychologists and family therapists. Moreover, one will need to involve family members to support vulnerable groups in the management of their addiction to using electronic devices before bedtime. With sufficient social support and clear guidelines from therapists including cognitive behavior therapy, adolescents will be able to manage their habit of using electronic tools before and during bedtime.
The inability to control their time when using electronic devices before bedtime affects the quality of adolescents’ sleep, thus making them develop issues associated with the disruption of sleep patterns. Particularly, the lack of understanding of the effects that the use of electronic devices has on their health causes the vulnerable population to continue to use IT tools needs to be explored and addressed further. Therefore, there is a strong need to introduce healthy behaviors and suggestions for changing the current pattern of IT tool usage among children and adolescents. Thus, the vulnerable population will be able to restore their sleep patterns and manage the current problems associated with the lack of sleep and the feeling of tiredness that they experience due to the inadequate use of IT devices.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Sleep and sleep disorders. Web.
Johansson, A. E., Petrisko, M. A., & Chasens, E. R. (2016). Adolescent sleep and the impact of technology use before sleep on daytime function. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 31(5), 498-504. Web.
LeBourgeois, M. K., Hale, L., Chang, A. M., Akacem, L. D., Montgomery-Downs, H. E., & Buxton, O. M. (2017). Digital media and sleep in childhood and adolescence. Pediatrics, 140(Supplement 2), S92-S96. Web.
Polos, P. G., Bhat, S., Gupta, D., O’Malley, R. J., DeBari, V. A., Upadhyay, H.,… Chokroverty, S. (2015). The impact of Sleep Time-Related Information and Communication Technology (STRICT) on sleep patterns and daytime functioning in American adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 44, 232-244. Web.
Twenge, J. M., Krizan, Z., & Hisler, G. (2017). Decreases in self-reported sleep duration among US adolescents 2009–2015 and association with new media screen time. Sleep Medicine, 39, 47-53. Web.