When the holidays end, barring a fresh outbreak of COVID-19, teenagers across Australia will head back to school. Some will bounce out of bed well before the alarm goes off, excited to start a new school year, but many others will drag themselves to the shower or reach for caffeine to shake themselves awake.
Many will not have had enough sleep to tackle the trials and tribulations of their new school day.
I remember back to my days as a high school science teacher, when some of my students started falling asleep in class. My immediate thoughts were: have I lost my touch? Am I that boring?
Over-tiredness can also lead to misbehaviour. One of my usually good kids filled a disposable glove with water and hurled it around her head spraying water and ruining the work of other students. An investigation determined a string of very late nights perusing social media and texting friends. It was possible her over-tiredness led to an inability to regulate her behaviour.
How phones close to bed affect sleep
With widespread school closures of 2020, and a reduction of face-to-face contact in 2020, teenagers used mobile phones more frequently to engage with their peers and ufabet online learning.
Teenagers need friendship networks to help them cope with stress and foster resilience.
Teens use devices to keep up to date with their friends’ activities on social media, or they may connect with a mate for an online gaming session, or phone a friend. Just like their parents, when teens aren’t connecting with their friends they are likely to use their smartphone like a mini-computer to stream videos and TV, listen to music, shop or catch up on news.
Of concern is that many of these activities occur into the night and in the confines of the teenager’s bedroom. This may not be a worry in the holidays when teens can sleep in but getting enough good quality sleep can be challenging when they have to be somewhere first thing in the morning.