Teen Text Messaging

Text messaging is spoiling teenager's sleep. That's the headline in an article published in a british medical journal. Today's lifewatch, Stephanie Stricklen says parents should wake up to the statistics. Teens will tell you text messaging from cell phones is all the rage.

"It's the new thing. Everyone is text messaging nowadays in the 2003 ... Yeah!!"

"You go to menu, messages and write message..... text messages are written messages passed via cell phone..  you can write whatever you want, like hello....you press it until you get to that letter....to get h you do it twice." "Right in the middle of class you'll see people's phones go off and they're like beep beep."

An annoyance for teachers, for sure ...

But a study of 25 hundred teens showed perhaps a bigger problem. Belgian researchers found more than 40 percent of 16 year olds in their study had their sleep compromised by late night text messaging. Of those, more than 20 percent awoke to a late night text message between one and three times a month ... Almost 11 percent woke up to a message at least once a week ... Almost 9 percent awoke to one several times a week ... And almost 3 percent got up to one every single night. So, is a study from belgium *really* relevant here? you bet it is. "all the time. *all* the time....."it beeps and then I wake up and I answer it or I don't answer it...sometimes, I'll say, around one thirty in the morning....getting things in the middle of the night- doesn't matter if it's a phone call, or a text message, or whatever. Those things will disrupt your sleep period."

Doctor Michael Lefor is a providence milwaukee sleep expert. He says text messages for teens should wait until the morning. Michael Lefor, MD, sleep specialist) "teenagers are teenagers and so their sleep is fragmented. The normal amount of sleep a teenager should have is somewhere around 8 to 9 hours a night."

His best advice: explain to your teen why they should turn it off when its time to turn in.