Study. Screens. Sleep.

If you’re anything like my husband perhaps you like to “wind down” at night by playing your favorite word or puzzle games on your phone. Those games are good for the brain, right? Maybe so, but the screen time right before bedtime is not and and it is ruining your quality sleep time!

Nowadays, our girls want to be available via their phones 24/7. I mean, how else can they compare notes with their BFFs about what to wear tomorrow or get the latest scoop on who did what? It would be pretty awful to … have to … I don’t know … wait until morning for that information, huh?  Perhaps we adults don’t understand the urgency of communicating non-stop, but we do know that putting the phone away in time to let the hormone melatonin kick in is important for adolescents (and adults) and we need to help our kids learn how to monitor themselves.

In January 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics found that adolescents who slept near screens got up to 30 minutes less sleep than those who were not near screens. The National Sleep Foundation, recommends at least 30 minutes of gadget-free transition time before bedtime.

Sleep is absolutely essential to the development of the adolescent brain, and an insufficient amount can affect your teen’s ability to focus at school, her energy level, even her health.

“Power down early for better sleep and more power later” is the motto in our home.

Spark the Conversation:  Talk to your teen about how much sleep her body requires (the National Sleep Foundation says 8-10 hours) and help her think of ways she can get in those hours to ensure that she is alert and feeling good. Putting the phone away and putting off reading her friends latest “rants” and “revelations” until the morning is a great start.

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