Those Darn Gadgets... Keeping The Youth Of America Awake All Night

from the or-maybe-not dept

The headline certainly looks ominous enough: Technology keeps teens awake, study shows. A new study has found that (surprise, surprise) teenagers don't get the recommended amount of sleep -- and that there's at least some sort of correlation between the number of gadgets in their bedroom and the amount of (non) sleep the teens get. Of course, the tech story is just one angle, and other articles on the same exact study don't even bother to mention the gadget angle. Perhaps that's because it's not clear that it's really the gadgets that are the issue. There doesn't seem to be any comparison to data from the past where gadgets weren't around, which would be a lot more interesting. Certainly, it's easy to see how kids using computers and mobile phones to chat away with friends or surf the internet could potentially be staying up later than before -- but it's not clear this study proves anything just yet.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jirka, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 4:01am

    When I was small, I would read under my blanket for hours late at night ..... no gadgets ... still no sleep ... In my opinion, any distraction (not just gadgets) causes this...

     

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  2.  
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    BlackCow, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 4:15am

    I am 15 and ive been staying up fairly late (wicked late on weekends) on my computer like back when I was 11 years old. My friend stays up till like 12 am sometimes on school nights. Sleeping is just sooo boring.

     

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  3.  
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    Martin Desilets, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 4:40am

    sleep

    there will be plenty of time to sleep when you're dead

    Marty
    Lehigh Valley Internet Media

     

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    charles, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 4:59am

    Re: sleep

    amen to that. Live your life now, before you know it...your old.

     

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    Antimatter, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 5:02am

    The problem

    The problem in my mind is that everyone is too busy. This is especially true in school when you have so much homework and such to do. Even if getting the recommended amount of sleep is possible, the problem is that you start to feel like all you're doing is working and sleeping. Unfortunately, it seems to be that the only thing you can possibly afford to take time away from is sleeping. It may be detrimental to your physical health, but mentally I don't think that most people can go without any form of relaxation for an extended period of time.

     

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    tosshin, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 5:24am

    I must say that students in high school (HS) don't have as much school work as you think. During HS I can remember gonig home and doing pretty much nothing the entire night. It was very possible to get all your homework done in class, study hall, or elsewhere. I managed to get everything I needed done as well as play basketball and run XCountry. If parents are worried about the sleep that kids are getting in HS they should see the lack of sleep they kids get in college, especially if they are going after a technical degree such as engineering or computer science. I can remember staying up for all night multiple time and then take a quick 30 min nap before class the next day.

    Also, if you want to "hack sleep" you could attempt to follow 1 of these non-traditional sleeping habits.
    http://www.dbeat.com/28/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphasic_sleep

     

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  7.  
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    yawmn, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:04am

    zzz....

     

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    heavyw8t, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:06am

    sleep

    If you want some solid sleep, read this thread....

     

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    Michael, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:25am

    I have lack of sleep because i have to much to do with school, work, and school activities. My body crashes before i get the recommended amount of sleep. So i don't think its the gadgets.

     

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  10.  
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    Chachi, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:28am

    This shit

    sorry but if your complaining about not gettin sleep, then quit bitching grab a pillow and knock the hell out. end of story.

     

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  11.  
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    icepick314, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:36am

    sleep

    i rather fall asleep at a class than middle of drive on a highway...

    if you're sleepy, take a quick 10-20 min nap....

    unfortunate for me, we don't allow that in military...

    and there aren't enough waking hours for me to watch TV...if there was a way to watch DVD and play games during your sleep....

     

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  12.  
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    Stanley, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:43am

    bogus

    I stay up late but i sleep when i'm tired. Tech just gives us something to do when it's late and we're not tired enough to sleep

     

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    Kyle, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    On the issue

    I agree with the first post. Though, I have no doubt that it isn't a coincedence that teens get less sleep when there are gadgets in the room, you also have to look at any distraction. I was just like the first poster. I would stay up super late reading a good book. And, similar to the third poster.....Sleep is for those who don't play World of Warcraft!

     

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    chronicon, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:12am

    Re: The problem

    Antimatter wrote: The problem in my mind is that everyone is too busy... you start to feel like all you're doing is working and sleeping.

    [sigh] Welcome to the real world (no not that assinine TV show)...

    Savor your youth. Don't ever go around telling people you're "bored". I become more convinced that youth really is wasted on the young when I hear them saying that.

    Read What You'll Wish You'd Known. A solid strategy for youthful success...

     

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    anonymous, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:13am

    its true

    its obviously true, I know as a teenager

     

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  16.  
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    Scott, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    Maybe where you went to school, but in the HS I worked for there was no such thing as study hall, and in order to keep accredidation, there was very little down time during class. There was supposed to be no point at which a student is not "being engaged"(this may be new age doublespeak for taught). It really complicates things for the students who do sports and/or work after school, they don't get a lot of down time.

     

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  17.  
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    Zeroth404, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:21am

    Teens don't get enough sleep because they spend too much time doing what they want. Correct me if I'm wrong here, because I knwo I'm not, but thats the only friggin point of living. Oh yeah, and that whole reproduction thing, but America hates that too.

    You want to know what REALLY wastes their time? I'll tell you. It's school. We all know that it doesn't take 13 years to be taught everything you need to know by the time you graduate highschool.

    Somebody please tell me why this is news-worthy.

     

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  18.  
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    Eric, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:22am

    It has nothing to do with gadgets

    When I was a kid, I stayed up all night reading, doing art or using my computer. I'm 24 now... and I still do the same (minus the art, I've given up on that).

     

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  19.  
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    Speak for yourself, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:37am

    I must say that students in high school (HS) don't have as much school work as you think. During HS I can remember gonig home and doing pretty much nothing the entire night. It was very possible to get all your homework done in class, study hall, or elsewhere. I managed to get everything I needed done as well as play basketball and run XCountry.

    Speak for yourself on that statement. I don't know how long it's been since you were in high school, but these days high school students do have a lot of homework. Also, you evidently didn't take many (or any) challenging courses; if you take any type of challenging course these days, it's more than just a "study hall" assignment.

     

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  20.  
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    Dr. Bobbles, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:57am

    Re: On the issue

    level 60 NE Hunter =P

     

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  21.  
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    Brandy, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:58am

    Want to know what keeps me up even more? My homework. Tonight I know I'm going to end up staying up way past 2 or 3, and that's usually the point where I just say "oh, well it'll just be easier if I stay up all night" (it's easier to stay up than it is to wake up after a couple hours of sleep). But I also know I've dug my own grave. I have several essays to turn in before the semester ends, and I knew about them plenty in advance. I just put it off until now, when they NEED to be in.

    Honestly, we're teenagers. We do what we want to do. Sleep isn't all that fun, so we don't do it.

     

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  22.  
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    Sleeps, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 8:11am

    Re: #19

    Wow... what courses are you taking? I was taking Calc, Algebra, English, CS, Physics, Chem just last year, and even though it wasn't just a "study hall" assignment, I almost never spent more than 30 minutes a day studying (exceptions were big assignments and finals). Even though HS might seem hard, wait till you get to university.

     

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  23.  
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    Sean, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 8:14am

    Changes in how school is done

    I personally hated HS. They told you what classes to take and you pretty much had no say so as to when you took that class or who from. They assigned your schedule and you could not change it no matter what.

    I personally think that middle school should be more like HS and HS should be more like community college. I would have gotten a lot more out of HS if this was how things were. I got horrible grades in HS and better grades by almost a full grade point in college.

     

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  24.  
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    SPARTAN_MSU, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 8:15am

    Hmmm....

    interesting.... i just stayed up all night to study for an exam on RNA and DNA synthesis/replication....

    gotta keep moving till this exam is over at 4

    time to get back to the grind

    PS. what parents of college students would really get a kick out of is the popularity of using/abusing adderall as a study aid..... I guess there are worse ways to "abuse" such a drug...

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 8:40am

    FYI

    Entering your email address when you comment here will fill your inbox with spam, lots of spam.

     

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  26.  
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    Byrnie, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 9:02am

    youth and sleep

    I'm 30, I grew up playing lemonade stand on the commodor64 and playing hours of pitfall, river raid, and other assorted atari games. When I was a kid there was no internet, I loved computers but because of the lack of connectivity I was forced to find other things to do. We'd go outside and play "night games" in the summer, like "kick the can", we'd play baseball during the day or toss around the football, bike around town, go "bummin" (which consistet of walking to the nearest gas station for a candy bar and a soda), or go skateboarding. We'd build forts, we converted a shed in the back yard into a club house, I went to radio shack and bought a 300 foot coaxial cable to run cable tv to a television we found in the trash. Those were the good old days. When technology was growing but not taking over. I slept at night because I was tired from the "negative" effects of playing outside - sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. Today I'm still a kid but technology has only enabled me to do work literally 24 hours a day if I wish, if I want to play video games I stay up late into the night to do so. If I was a kid today I'd probably never leave the house, be on my wireless phone while surfing the internet, and chatting online with other friends I may never physically see. All this does is intertwine the mind with the technology. Technology never sleeps. I don't think that kids are bored because of lack of things to do, I think there is just too much available for instant gratification that gathering up kids for a baseball game is just too much of a pain when you can go online with your PS2 or XBOX360 and find a baseball game going on at any given time of the day. it's too bad they don't have games that incorporate movement so that the hours of play result in fatigue, then you'd have kids that could actually sleep, regardless of how many gadgets are present.

    "Yes I love technology, but not as much as you you see, but I still love technology, always and forever......allllwayyss...and....forever....."

     

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  27.  
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    Byrnie, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 9:04am

    Re: Hmmm....

    Ha! That cracks me up, "abusing" a drug designed to help someone study better.

     

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  28.  
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    dorpus, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 9:08am

    Now if you get to grad school

    staying up at strange hours and doing homework will be an advantage!

    Did this pizza delivery guy play with too many gadgets?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/28/national/28seattle.html

     

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  29.  
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    Whateva, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 9:16am

    What a wierd synopsis.

    What's your point? Are you trying to highlight the point in the original study where they show that indeed there is a correlation with #gadgets? Or are you trying to somehow minimize that observation with your super-scientific notion that the fact that other articles that don't quote the original research on that point is conclusive evidence that the original research is flawed? Shoddy work.

     

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  30.  
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    lizard, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 9:17am

    these kids today ...

    when i was their age, we didn't have computers, or video games, or cell phones or dvd's. cable? please. we only had three channels, which went off the air in the wee hours.

    if we wanted to be insomniacs we had to work at it! like poster #1, under our covers with flashlights, reading books! remember books? yeah, we read them! and if there was nothing to read, we wrote! bad teenage poetry! uphill through the snow!

    hmmph. young insomniacs these days don't know how good they've got it.

     

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  31.  
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    Zeroth404, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 9:38am

    "high school students do have a lot of homework"

    School work is for school, not home. Students being required to do school work at home while spending 7 hours every weekday at class minus a couple months of vacation per year for 13 fucking years is abso-fuckin-lutely ridiculous. Thats a lot of time you're wasting in their lives.

    I can back that up Personally. I learned every little nitty grity detail I know about computers on my own time. Look at my sourceforge profile if you're curious, its accurate. All that time I wasted at school or doing homework I could have been home learning something much more important (more important because I make a living of it). Public Schooling wasted nearly 2 solid years of my time.

    7 hours per day, 5 days per week, 38 weeks per year, for 13 years. thats 17,290 hours learning how to pronounce each letter of the alphabet, perform sufficient algebra, simple geometry, and learn a shit load of lies about american history (ie, the pillage of the native americans)

    Separation of Church and State -- Separation of Home and Class, anyone? At least public schools.

     

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  32.  
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    wolff000, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:09am

    Bad Parents Not Bad Gadgets

    Gadgets don't keep kids up at night, thier bad habits and parents not paying attention do. If a kid doesn't get enough sleep cause he plays Quake all night it's not the PC's fault but the parents. If your kid is tired all the time even though he goes into his room to go to "sleep" at 9 then he probably isn't sleeping. How hard is it to check on your kid every now and then to make sure he went to bed? My mother was a single parent with 2 jobs raising 3 boys and our bedtimes were enforced even in HS. I got caught a few times staying up late talking on the phone or playing video games and each time I was told to go directly to bed. There was no saving the game or finishing the conversation I got my a$$ in bed or faced the consequences which would have been the loss of whatever it was I was doing. I am so tired of these studies blaming everything on anything other than the real problem, parents not doing thier jobs. if you simply lay down rules and enforce them the kids will go to bed, not shoot at people, and get good grades. It really is that simple. Kids need instruction and some discipline without they turn into delinquents.

     

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  33.  
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    txjump, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    "I must say that students in high school (HS) don't have as much school work as you think. During HS I can remember gonig home and doing pretty much nothing the entire night. "

    im not sure where you went to school either. i had TONS of homework and studying and i was always "engaged" in school, didnt have study hall. i had practice or a game after school year around. student council, nhs, spanish club, dfyit, etc ...

    but we were using college books in high school...

    i usually got about 4 or 5 hours of sleep. and when i went to college, it was no different. tons of homework and projects but i had less extracuricular stuff related school.

     

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  34.  
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    txjump, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:25am

    Re: Bad Parents Not Bad Gadgets

    Gadgets don't keep kids up at night, thier bad habits and parents not paying attention do. If a kid doesn't get enough sleep cause he plays Quake all night it's not the PC's fault but the parents

    exactly! that goes for any activity that leads to lack of sleep and not fulfilling responsibilities. if a kid can't get enough sleep to function parents need to consider what to trim out.

     

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  35.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:27am

    Re: FYI

    Entering your email address when you comment here will fill your inbox with spam, lots of spam.

    Um. Would you care to defend that? We do not use those email addresses for anything. They are simply there in case we need to contact the commenter, as has happened on occassion. We do not put them into a list. We do not do anything else with them, and we do not even require a valid email address.

    So, if you're worried, don't put in an email address, but you are completely wrong that entering an email address here increases your risk of getting spam.

    So, if you're going to make completely baseless statements, you should at least have something to back it up... because in this case you're 100% wrong.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: FYI

    I'm actually concerned with it...I like to add my email address when commenting, and don't care to be anonymous

    I've noticed a pattern...started getting phishing emails shortly after I began commenting here. The more I comment, the more I get.

    And, oddly, within an hour or so after commenting, I always receive 2-3 new ones.

    Maybe the phishers are getting my address from somewhere else, but this is the only site I frequently enter my email address at?

     

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  37.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 28th, 2006 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: FYI

    I'm actually concerned with it...I like to add my email address when commenting, and don't care to be anonymous

    I've noticed a pattern...started getting phishing emails shortly after I began commenting here. The more I comment, the more I get.


    It's not from us. We would NEVER give out your email. Please don't make accusations like this without proof.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    It's newsworthy because tards like you think you've learned all you need to know without "a proper education." Sadly, we can all see that this is not true based on your inability to write coherently.

     

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  39.  
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    Dylan Johnston, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 11:48am

    Huh

    Somebody explain, what is this sleep thing?

     

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    Zeroth404, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 12:06pm

    "It's newsworthy because tards like you think you've learned all you need to know without "a proper education." Sadly, we can all see that this is not true based on your inability to write coherently."

    Public education is FAR from "proper", and thats enough with the grammar and punctuation comments, you troll.

     

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  41.  
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    Justin, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 12:57pm

    In conclusion...

    Kids just don't like sleep!

     

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  42.  
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    Tim, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 2:14pm

    another thing keeping the kids awake....

    I think it may be attributed to all the crystalmeth they are doing.

     

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  43.  
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    Rick, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 2:22pm

    When I was a teen...

    I remember being 15 or 16 and having 3 jobs - working 40-60 hours a week, attending zero hour classes (an hour before school started) and still stayed up as late as possible coding on my new 'gadgets'. (At the time this was a 1KB RAM (lol) Timex Sinclair computer I built from a kit and learned how to program in BASIC and machine language on as well as various Commodore home PC models).

    I slept 2-4 hours a night during the week and still maintained a 3.8 GPA. I hated sleeping, it seemed like a boring colossal waste of time to me.

    I enjoy sleep much more now, as a 35 year old adult, but I still don't feel like I need to or have to have 8 hours a day. I'm lucky if I get 6 hours.

    These are TEENAGERS, gadgets have nothing to do with it - teens just don't needf as much sleep as we think they do.

     

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  44.  
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    Cheerboy, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    You're crazy if you think that high school's a breeze. I graduated two years ago and there wasn't a night that I didn't have just as much homework as I have now in college. Granted, I took all honors and AP classes but that not withstanding, high school students have to run on a constant sleep deffict just as much as anyone else. There are so many pressures on high school students today to succeed in order to get into college that gadgets make life easier and allows them to get more sleep by increasing efficiency. With out them, I don't know how i would have survived. It's all part of the high speed, high performance society that we live in today.

     

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    BlackCow, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 2:30pm

    Agreed

    "I must say that students in high school (HS) don't have as much school work as you think." You are absolutly right. Its the same now to. I can get most of my work done in study and class and on the bus and all that crap. People just seem to spazz out over kids haveing to much home work when its not all that bad. Unless you are one of those over acheveing kids that do nothing but work.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 2:56pm

    Free will anyone?

     

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    Rikko, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 3:39pm

    Time management

    Nobody has "too much homework" - that's a crock. I took virtually every difficult science course I could manage in high school because I thought it would get me farther when I went to college (HAH!).
    I highly doubt I did more than two hours homework a night, and typically far less than that. I had people in most of my classes constantly crying and moaning that they got too much homework... Where? How?
    I'm absolutely convinced that the people who complain about having too much work assigned lack the basic time management skills to get it done in a reasonable amount of time. Like it or not, when you're out in the real world you're going to have to do the same - bad employees who can't manage their time get fired, and after a while when your resume shows that you haven't held a job for longer than six months anywhere, nobody is going to hire you.

    Figure it out early - stop pissing away your day! You can't do homework in front of the TV and if you daydream and fall behind in class you need to bloody well get caught up on your own time and not just flounder along!

     

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  48.  
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    Mischa, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:29pm

    Actually, the second article does talk about the link between teens not getting enough sleep and having gadgets. (4th paragraph from the bottom.) The difference is that the first article is all about what's supposedly causing the lack of sleep while the second article is about the lack of sleep itself.

    I find it interesting that neither article talks about caffeine. Since according to the poll's key findings caffeine and tech toys also take their toll on adolescent sleep.

     

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    Zeroth404, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 7:28am

    "These are TEENAGERS, gadgets have nothing to do with it - teens just don't needf as much sleep as we think they do."

    On the contrary, Teenagers do generally require shit loads of sleep. I'm 20, and for as long as I can remember I sleep 12 consecutive hours if nobody wakes me up and I'm a happy boy. Now, some may not need sleep at all. I know people younger than I that sleep around 5 hours per week.

    Teens may need sleep, but that doesn't mean they want it or get it.

     

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    buckykat, Mar 30th, 2006 @ 1:47am

    my theory

    is that morning sleep is more effectual. therefore, hs shouldn't start until 8 AM at the very earliest. for me, midnight-6 AM is worthless, but 4 AM-10 AM is great.

     

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  51.  
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    Zeroth404, Mar 30th, 2006 @ 7:00am

    Basically, Sleep is only effective once you're sleepign hard, you say. I'd have to agree. I don't want to go to bed until I'm dead beat, and thats only after at least 14 hours of consciousness, and a previous 12 hours of sleep under my belt. that dose'nt even fit into a day. The way the calendar year is formatted, and the way days are partitioned, dosen't take into consideration human health (or at least fatigue). If companies and schools ran fewer hours each day, we'd all be much happier (and less tired) people.

     

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  52.  
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    Kimmy, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    i disagree

    hi, i am a 14 year old and i would like to argue about this.
    hows it a surprise surprise* that teens dont get enough sleep at night? are you trying to say ALL of us suck, ill admit i usually crash at about 2 or 3 in the morning every night but thats cuz im so freaking busy with sports, school, computer, music, photography, skateboarding,,, im really bussy. and it kind of bugs me that your stereotyping all of us cuz quite fankly i know some pansies that go to bed at 8 at night.

    so please, shut the hell up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Sha-la, Oct 9th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    Re: This shit

    Wow. You've got issues, dude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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