A Third of Teens Check Mobile Devices Overnight

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Mobile devices, particularly smartphones, have become part of daily life. People carry them everywhere, and often keep them by their bedside, or even in bed, overnight. New research shows that over one-third of teenagers wake up at night to check these devices. Many adults do as well.

New research from Common Sense shows that: “One in three teens (36%) wakes up and checks their mobile device for something other than the time at least once a night. One in four parents (26%) does this as well.” The primary reasons are to check alerts sent to their devices, or that they cannot sleep or they want to check social media. The report’s title is “The New Normal: Parents, Teens, Screens, and Sleep in the United States.”

The report points out that doctors recommend against checking devices both before and during sleep because it disrupts the ability to get sleep’s most important benefits. The National Sleep Foundation has reported: “Even just one night of interrupted sleep can negatively affect your mood and cause you to experience a decline in attention span. Interrupted sleep can slow your reaction speed and make it harder to learn or remember things.”

In general, the Common Sense data found that the number of parents who say they spend “too much time on their mobile devices” has risen from 29% in 2016 to 52% this year. The figure is radically different for teenagers. Some 47% said they spend the right amount of time with mobile devices this year, compared with 29% in 2016.

Children also think their parents spend too much time on their mobile devices. This number rose from 28% in 2016 to 39% today. Another portion of the research showed that 45% of parents believe they are addicted to their devices. Only 39% of children feel the same way. Among parents, 28% believe that their children’s use of mobile devices hurts their relationships, while only 9% of children feel the same way.

The survey was conducted between February 2 and March 1, by both phone calls and online. One thousand people answered questions during the period.

As a conclusion to the report, Common Sense experts reported as they looked at data from 2016 and 2019: “When it comes to sleep, it is alarming to see so many teens sleeping with mobile devices in their beds and acknowledging that they are woken up during the night by their devices.” The trend, in other words, is going in the wrong direction, fast. The variety of phone devices varies, both by type and when they were launched, according to research done on the 47 hottest phones of all time.


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