Text Messaging Could be Interrupting Sleep - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/24/03

Text Messaging Could be Interrupting Sleep

You may think your teenagers have gone to sleep when their room is dark and the TV is off, but a report in a British Medical Journal reveals a high tech signal could be keeping them up at night and cheating them out of much needed sleep.

The problem is called text messaging, which are written messages passed through cell phones, which beep to get your attention.

"It's the new thing. Everyone is text messaging nowadays in the 2003. Yeah!"

"You can write whatever you want, like hello."

"It beeps and then I wake up and I answer it or I don't answer it."

And it's that little beep that is the problem. Belgian researchers found in a study of 2,500 teens that more than 40% of the 16 year-olds in the study were regularly interrupted in their sleep because of late night text messaging.

"Teenagers are teenagers and so their sleep is fragmented. The normal amount of sleep a teenager should have is somewhere around 8 to 9 hours a night," says Dr. Michael Lefor, sleep specialist.

Dr. Lefor says teens who get enough uninterrupted sleep tend to do better both in school and socially. So his suggestion is that when the TV goes off at night parents might want to check to make sure the phone is turned off as well, becuase the messages will still be there in the morning.

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