Washington : More than half of the parents of sleep-deprived teens are blaming social media for lack of sleep among their children, a new study has found.
The University of Michigan study suggests that 56 percent of parents of teenagers who have sleep troubles believe the use of electronics is hurting their child’s shut-eye.
Forty-three percent of parents report that their teens struggle to fall asleep or wake up and can’t get back to sleep, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.
A fourth of these parents say their child experiences occasional sleep problems (one to two nights per week) while 18 percent believe their teen struggles with sleep three or more nights per week.
Not being able to stay off electronics – including social media and cell phones – was the no.1 reason parents cited for sleep disturbance.
Other reasons included irregular sleep schedules due to homework or activities (43 percent), worries about school (31 percent), and concerns about social life (23 percent). Ten percent of parents say their teen’s sleep problems are related to a health condition or medication, cited more often by parents of teens who experience frequent sleep problems.
“This poll suggests that sleep problems are common among teens and parents believe late-night use of electronics are a main contributor,” said poll co-director Sarah Clark.
“Teens’ hectic schedules and homework load, as well as anxiety about school performance and peer relationships, are also seen by parents as contributing to sleep problems,” added Clark.
“Sleep-deprived teens may have difficulty concentrating in school and those who drive have an increased risk of auto accidents. Inadequate sleep has also been linked to health problems ranging from obesity to depression,” she concluded.