Addiction can involve more than just drugs and alcohol. Video games, computers, cell phones and other electronic devices teens can get their hands on are affecting their health more than they can imagine.
When teens spend more than enough time on their electronics, it can negatively affect their sleeping patterns. Sleep is fundamental when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It can affect energy level, weight, attitude, mental functions and even bodily functions.
Rather than sleeping, teens are spending more time staying awake to use their mobile electronics.
A recent study showed that teens sleep with their cell phones, text messaging with their peers back and forth. Even when they do sleep, they still keep their phones in close reach, so they will be able to wake up the moment they receive a text.
About 47 percent of U.S. teens are saying their social life would be damaged without their cell phones, and nearly six in 10 (57 percent) credit their cellular device with improving their lives, as reported by a national survey from CTIA-The Wireless Association and Harris Interactive.
Texting helps teens feel socially connected and lets them share their experiences instantly, leading to a boost in self-esteem, according to one perspective. Another perspective includes if teens feel left out or disconnected, texting can lead to anxiety and a feeling of depression.
“There is short-and long-term anxiety,” said Dr. Jonathan Pletcher, an adolescent medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, of UPMC. “The short-term anxiety is, ‘Will he or won’t he answer?’ It’s unnecessarily negative, but the same as a phone call, we learn to deal with over time. Long-term, it impairs your daily functions. They are doing it late and not sleeping as well, leading to daytime anxiety.”
It comes down to teens making the right decision on whether or not to turn off their electronic devices regarding their health. Getting the proper amount of sleep can help teens’ bodies function properly and would reduce anxiety so they can live a healthy life.