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For a long time, parents have questioned whether children's poor sleep is related to long-term use of computers or smart phones. Now, some professionals finally give a positive answer: the longer the teenagers spend on computers or mobile phones, the less they sleep, especially when they use them before going to bed.
Experts say the evidence is so sufficient that they urge health regulators to fully revise guidance on the use of electronic equipment for young people.
The research team conducted the scientific survey in Hordaland in Western Norway in 2012, which was investigated for nearly 10 thousand young people aged between 16 and 19. On Tuesday, the team published the findings in the BMJ Open magazine.
The adolescents surveyed need to answer several questions, such as their sleep habits, the time on the screen outside the school, and the type of equipment they use.
Respondents thought they needed eight to nine hours of sleep on average to get enough rest.
The survey found that those who stared at the screen for more than four hours each day increased the risk of sleeping less than five hours at night by 3.5 times.
In addition, this group needs more than 1 hours to fall asleep and the chance of falling asleep is increased by 49%. The average adult's sleep time is less than 30 minutes.
The study also confirmed that the use of electronic products one hour before bedtime would greatly affect sleep time and duration of sleep.
Teenagers who use a computer or cell phone before going to bed need more than 60 minutes to get into sleep by 52% and 48%, and their chances of sleeping for one to two hours less are 53% and 35%.
Mary Heisen (Mari Hysing), who led the research at University of Bergen in Norway (University of Bergen), explained the above results as follows.
First of all, teenagers usually sleep late. The time spent on the screen takes up sleep time.
Second, the light emitted by electronic devices interferes with human physiological clocks, which may cause muscle pain, emotional stress, or headaches. For example, long playing games may lead to the situation.
In addition, media content may cause an increase in psychophysiological arousal, which means that the thought should have slowed down in the evening and suddenly accelerated.
The guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2004 stipulate that TV is not allowed in the bedroom.
With the progress of technology, it seems that the guidance also needs to be included in the specific rules for other electronic devices, such as computers, smartphones, MP3 players, tablet computers, and game machines.