Dr Paul Howard-Jones told the Bristol Festival of Education that parents should restrict their children’s use of technology at night, the BBC reports.
Looking at a bright screen under the duvet can disrupt the secretion of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle. Based on a review of 168 research papers on digital technology and the brain, Dr. Howard-Jones said that night-time texting disrupts sleep more than watching television, and that parents should worry more about the effects of children using technology at night than cyberbullying. Other research suggests that teenagers who text at night are four times more likely to be sleepy during the day and that playing video games – even early in the evening – is linked with sleep loss.
The father of five said that his research had made him focus on the difficulties of regulating his own children’s use of video games and smart phones.
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