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Teens lack sleep due to cell phones, expert says

By Mary Richards  |  Posted Oct 27th, 2011 @ 10:38am


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Multiple studies show teens are not getting enough sleep, and one educator says it's almost always because of their cell phones.

Brett Wilson with Student Intervention Services in the Jordan School District said parents taking away the phone is not the answer.

"What we'd rather recommend is that you have a discussion on the limits, boundaries, sanctions and restrictions. Do that in a little chat rather than reacting with a punishment," he suggested.

"If you react with a punishment, the kids will find a way to have that access. They'll sneak out in the middle of the night (to get their phone). They'll steal yours," he predicted.

Instead he suggested conversation such as, "'Your sleep is valuable, your grades are valuable and here's how we as parents need to monitor that.' Just set some limits about shutting off the phone or putting the phone in a different location," he said.

Wilson said parents should let teenagers have some input on the limits so they will be more likely to observe the rules.

Many teens say they use their cell phones as alarms. But parents may want to give them an alarm clock to keep them from texting or going online in the middle of the night.

Wilson recommends www.cyberbullying.us for tips for parents on teen cell phone use, sexting, cyberbullying and more.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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