Technological insomnia among adolescents increases
Checking your smartphone or tablet before bed is the routine of many children before bedtime. This custom is very harmful, if what is intended is to fall asleep since the technological devices use backlit screens and activate areas of the brain that cancel sleep. The predecessor activity to the conciliation of the dream should be calm and induce sleep.
Consequences of using the smartphone before sleep
The first consequence related to the use of the smartphone and the tablets before sleep are the disorders of conciliation and maintenance of sleep. Episodes of nightmares or parasomnia (small sleep interruptions) are also associated.
The second is poor school performance. Thus, after a night in which he has rested a little, the lack of attention, concentration, irritability and fatigue to face the day are the most immediate consequences. Hyperactivity is also associated. And is that contrary to what happens to adults, children and adolescents who do not sleep well the next day are often hyperactive, very agitated. And this means that they do not concentrate and their school performance goes down.
Several universities in the United States are already preparing studies to determine how the use of technology affects school performance, concentration and other habits, and some experts expect the results to be surprising. Neurologists agree that at least one hour before sleep is dispensed with the use of the Smartphone or tablet.
Aids to fight technological insomnia
The bedside consultations and the sleep units are beginning to register an increase in the number of minor patients, who have difficulties to fall asleep, or are revealed at midnight and do not return to sleep easily.
When children come to the sleep unit, it is necessary to determine if the problems related to insomnia are neurological or pneumological. Usually work to correct bad habits that prevent falling asleep when using the smartphone before sleep and the problem tends to disappear.
The profile of these minors is usually that of males between 14 and 16 years old, and 98 percent of them, for not ensuring that all, use technological devices in the hour prior to sleep, even in the same bed. The solution to eradicate this problem is to explain to children the scientific reasons why using mobile phones, tablets and other devices before sleep is bad.
These scientific reasons for this type of "technological insomnia" are twofold.
1. The artificial light of these devices. Technically they are called backlit light screens, it alters the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps regulate our circadian rhythms (our internal clock) and to get to sleep. This delay in the production of melatonin in adolescents is very important and can have serious consequences for the rest of their lives, with serious insomnia problems.
2. Activation of neurons. These devices activate the neurons and activate us, which prevents falling asleep. The advisable thing is not to use screens between one and two hours before going to sleep. It's difficult, we're all a bit hooked on WhatsApp.
Marisol Nuevo Espín