Health teacher points to misuse of phones for lack of sleep, increased anxiety

Students may not be realizing that their daily habits affect their sleep patterns, one of the most common habits is phone usage. Health teacher Jay Teply said, “It (sleep) is a huge, overlooked issue affecting people, especially teens. People don’t realize how important sleep is and how much it can affect your daily performance. Anxiety can be both the cause and the result of poor sleep,” Teply, said. 

Phones can also be an easy distraction from healthy sleep, Teply said. The most scientifically based reason students struggle with healthy sleep patterns is due to the blue light that comes from all tech screens. Blue light reduces the amount of melatonin released by the body, which makes it harder for people to fall asleep.”

He said phones are also just a huge distraction from getting in the hours teens need for sleeping. “We have all seen how fast time can fly by when you get sucked into something interesting (and sometimes not interesting) which can cause people to stay up later than intended.”

Teply said when students have unstable and inconsistent sleep schedules, it can affect their anxiety, but anxiety can also affect sleep patterns. “In order for your body to sleep, your mind needs to be calm and free from distractions,” Reply said. “When someone is worried or anxious, their mind could constantly be racing, which would cause them to resist falling asleep.” Balancing anxiety and sleep is essential to having a stable life. There are some things that students can do to help calm their minds before going to sleep. Teply recommended these small changes to help improve your sleep patterns: 

-Stay away from all tech for at least 60 minutes before bed.  

– Journaling for 20 minutes leading up to sleep will slow the mind down, and can help reduce stressful and anxious thoughts.

-Listen to calming/ relaxing music. The slow rhythms will naturally help the mind slow down.

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