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Doctors' Advice: Put Phone Down for Good Night's Sleep

A persistent lack of sleep can lead to long-term physical health problems. (reewungjunerr/Adobe Stock)
A persistent lack of sleep can lead to long-term physical health problems. (reewungjunerr/Adobe Stock)
September 13, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. – With school back in session, doctors are saying, “Well, your mom is right – time to turn the phone off and get to bed,” because you really do need a good night's sleep.

Dr. Simone Fearon, a cardiologist with ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care, points to information from the American Heart Association and others.

She says it shows that for their mental, emotional and physical health, teens should turn screens off well before bedtime.

"The laptop, the TV, the cell phone, the smartphone, what I would recommend is at least two hours, before bedtime," she urges.

Fearon says research confirms what parents always say – that foggy feeling you get without enough sleep means poorer learning, worse decision making and long-term issues with physical health.

So out down the phone, turn off the computer and get to bed!

And she knows young people will push back, just as they've done for generations.

"A lot of teens will say, 'No, I'm just using this to relax,'” she relates. “I hear that a lot in my own household.

“But the reality is that it does not cause you to relax. It actually keeps you more awake."

One serious point Fearon makes is that teens are naturally prone to take risks – it's part of growing up.

But she says a lack of sleep will disrupt their thinking and emotions, and push them to take chances they shouldn't.

"Drug taking, unfortunately,” she points out. “Careless driving. Kind of making poor choices. Those are some of the short-term effects of not really having a good quality night's rest."

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND