TAKING SCREENS AWAY HELPS SLEEP-DEPRIVED TEENS

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Sleep problems suffered by teenagers can be improved after just one week by limiting evening exposure to light-emitting screens on mobile phones, tablets and computers, a study suggests, according to reports in The Guardian. The research indicates that by reducing their exposure to blue light-emitting devices in the evening, adolescents can improve their sleep quality and reduce symptoms of fatigue, lack of concentration and mood swings after seven days. The new research from the Netherlands found that teenagers who had more than four hours per day of screen time had sleep-onset and wake-up times on average 30 minutes later than those who recorded less than one hour per day of screen time, as well as more symptoms of sleep loss. Blocking blue light with glasses and screen abstinence resulted in sleep-onset and wake-up times occurring 20 minutes earlier and a reduction in reported symptoms of sleep loss in participants after a week. Dr Dirk Jan Stenvers from the department of endocrinology and metabolism at the Amsterdam UMC said:
“Here we show very simply that these sleep complaints can be easily reversed by minimising evening screen use or exposure to blue light.” The study was a collaborative project between the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience, the Amsterdam UMC and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

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