Are your kids getting enough sleep? Probably not according to a new survey of 1,000 teenagers and parents.
The survey found Australia’s youth feel sleep deprived and are using electronic devices for over four hours every night.
With the key time for posting on social media for teens between 7pm and 9pm, young people are finding it difficult to switch off, with the compulsion to check how many likes or comments they’ve received taking precedence over sleep.
Further results have shown 80% of teenagers think they should be getting more sleep on school nights, with the majority (57%) only getting up to seven hours of rest every night.
About 77% of teenagers said they find it difficult to wake up on school mornings, while 62% find it “difficult” to get to sleep on school nights, according to the study.
The majority of teenagers use their electronic screens for four hours or more every night, with 87% using them in the hour before going to sleep – a major factor in them not getting the required sleep for their development, according to adolescent sleep physician, Dr Chris Seton of the Woolcock Institute Of Medical Research.
Dr Seton said “The survey shows 85% of teenagers have electronic devices in their bedrooms, while 58% use electronic screens while lying in bed, both dangerous habits which research has shown has a detrimental effect on teenagers’ mental and physical health”.
The largest group of teenagers in the survey (32.2%) send or receive 10 or more texts every night – another factor in them not getting the required rest time.
Alarmingly, 77 per cent of teenagers said they did not have parental controls installed in their devices, opening the way for a stream of inappropriate material to reach them out of sight of their parents.
Dr Seton suggested it was time for parents to take control of their children’s online experiences and adopt appropriate parental controls both at and outside of the home.
Family Zone can block internet use entirely at set times, including School and Sleep time to ensure kids are unable to access social media and other key distractions hindering their ability to fall asleep. We’re also supported by a team of Cyber Experts, whose tailored settings and advice provide parents with professional cyber safety support.