Teens: Turn Off Your Cell Phone and Go to Sleep

Florence Cardinal Health Guide
  • The controversy continues. Is the use of a cell phone injurious to our health? It does seem, from recent research, that the use of cell phones may disrupt our sleep.


    In an article I wrote back in January, I stated: "According to research undertaken by the Electromagnetic Academy based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, cell phones disrupt sleep patterns, especially the light phases of sleep." A joint study undertaken jointly by researchers in Detroit and Sweden found that people exposed to cell phone radiation suffered from headaches, took longer to fall asleep and didn't enjoy a restful night's sleep.

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    Dr. Bengt Arnetz, M.D., leader of the study, said, "If you have trouble sleeping, you should think about not talking on a mobile phone right before you go to bed. The study strongly suggests that mobile phone use is associated with specific changes in the areas of the brain responsible for activating and coordinating the stress system,"


    Another study, this one conducted by phone makers own scientists, found that radiation from cell phones delays and reduces sleep. After seeing the results of the study, Mobile Phone Manufacturers tried to downplay the outcome, but Professor Arnetz says, "We did find an effect from mobile phones from exposure scenarios that were realistic. This suggests that they have measurable effects on the brain."

    Who does the bedtime use of cell phones affect the most? Teenagers can spend hours and sometimes the entire night phoning and texting friends. The Daily Telegraph out of Australia tells us: "Teenagers who use their mobile phones excessively are more prone to disrupted sleep, stress, fatigue and restlessness, according to international research."


    There could be several reasons for this. As stated above, cell phone radiation is believed to disrupt sleep and cause stress and headaches. Add to this, sleep deprivation, because of the hours on the phone when teens should be sleeping, and you have a double whammy.


    Sleep-deprived teens have poorer grades and emotional problems. There's even a risk of developing ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and other mental problems.


    The amount of sleep needed varies, but most health professionals believe a teenager needs at least nine hours of sleep a night. With homework, extracurricular activities, social life and often a part-time job, it's difficult enough getting the sleep needed to maintain a healthy mind and body. When you add in several hours of cell phone use at bedtime, it's easy to see how our teens are becoming sleep deprived.


    It's time teens took their health and sleep into consideration. Or perhaps it's time for parents to step in and limit bedtime cellular use. Bedtime is a time to rest and repair the ravages of the day with a good night's sleep. Bedtime is a time to leave the cell phone turned off on the kitchen table.


Published On: June 12, 2008