Teens suffering from lack of sleep due to texting

November 1, 2010 3:10:02 PM PDT
Children today are surrounded by more technology than ever before, and while there are benefits, it has its drawbacks.

A new study says cell phones are cutting into how much sleep teenagers get.

"Children cannot get only 4, 5, 6 hours of sleep a night," said Dr. Peter Polos, of the JFK Medical Center.

Dr. Peter Polos has just completed a sleep study on 14 and 15 year olds.

What did he learn?

Once too many kids go to bed, they don't go to sleep for hours!

"These children have computers, they're gaming, texting, too much temptation," Dr. Polos said.

His study followed 40 patients.

He learned that: - Kids are actually going to sleep 4 hours after bedtime.

- They are texting an average of 33 times per night.

- It negatively affects their ability to learn, their mood and health.

"So even if they have gone to bed, if a text comes through, they take it and the cycle begins again," Dr. Polos said.

So how can you fix this? How do you get them to go to sleep?"

"Have a time when you turn everything off, 11 or 12," suggested one person

"If the parents talk to the kids just as you did with us, tell them it's bad academically and athletically," said another person.

Teens and texting is like peanut butter and jelly: watch what happened when Eyewitness News told them this story would be on TV.

Each teen sent several text messages.

Dr. Polos warns parents that as with all parenting check yourself, first.

"And sometimes they're up on the computer or phone or watching TV or doing the same," Dr. Polos said.