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My students sometimes have trouble staying awake in school. They tell me they do not get much sleep at night. When I question them about it, I often find out that they are "sleeping" with their cell phone. That is such a bad idea!
If your child takes their phone to bed with them, they are likely to allow it to determine how much sleep they get. When they get text messages off and on all night, they think their friends will be mad at them if they don't answer right away. Students have told me they get text messages as late as three or four in the morning! Even if they are sleeping between messages, they probably won't get enough deep sleep—the kind that is so important for memory and learning (see last week's post, Children, Sleep, and Long Term Memory). Most students need 9 or 10 hours of sleep to be healthy.
On Parent's Night at my school, I always suggest to parents that they keep their child's cell phone (and laptop) when they go to bed at night. It is okay to be tough about this. It will promote good health and school success, and it's easier for them to explain to their friends why they do not answer their text messages. ("My Mom keeps my phone at night! I can't answer you!")