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Study Says Rise of Gadget Use May Be Causing Teen Sleeplessness

Monday, August 17, 2009 by: Frank Mangano
Tags: gadgets, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Technology can be a wonderful thing - so long as it's used in moderation. But so many young Americans have forgotten what "moderation" is and have become transfixed by its convenience. So much so, it's costing them their health.

That's what researchers from the University of Arizona in Tucson have found. In their study, presented on June 9th at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, they found that an increasing number of adolescents are lacking in sleep. No surprise there, as many schools around the country are considering starting school later next year to avoid traffic accidents that students have gotten involved in due to a lack of sleep.

Now, many have chocked up this lack of sleep to simply staying out too late, or watching too much television. Certainly those are aspects to sleepless nights, but this study found that the high use of high-tech gadgets were used most prevalently among those adolescents whose sleep habits were the worst.

Using questionnaires and correlation and regression analysis among 320 participants, the researchers found the guiltiest parties were right around 13 years of age (mean age among the participants was 13), as they also tended to drink the highest amounts of caffeine.

The risks for not getting enough sleep are serious for everyone, but particularly for adolescents. The brain doesn't really stop growing or adding new "wrinkles" until around the age of 25. And sleep is what revitalizes the mind. Without adequate sleep, adolescents are more likely to endure emotional and behavioral disturbances like ADHD, to say nothing of their suffering grade point average (these findings were presented at last year's Sleep Societies conference).

If all that wasn't enough, the researchers also found that those who slept the least and spent the most amount of time on their technology trappings also tended to have a higher body mass index. There wasn't as much of a correlation here, though. Researchers found that the boys in their sample participated in more exercise-related activity than girls, and this fact was a significant variable in body mass index discrepancies.

Nevertheless, the fact remains, the less sleep one gets, the worse off one tends to be in just about every way imaginable: exercise function, intellectual function, emotional function and everyday conversation function.

This is not to say you should be anti-technology; they serve as great, fun distractions from the same old same old. But they shouldn't be a distraction from a very important same old, same old: sleep.

So, if your sons' or daughters' grades are suffering, or their emotional health is becoming worrisome, their handheld devices may be to blame.


About the author

Frank Mangano is an American author, health advocate, researcher and entrepreneur in the field of alternative health. He is perhaps best known for his book "The Blood Pressure Miracle," which continues to be an Amazon best selling book. Additionally, he has published numerous reports and a considerable amount of articles pertaining to natural health.
Mangano is the publisher of Natural Health On The Web, which offers readers free and valuable information on alternative remedies. To learn more visit:
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