Study: reducing screen time for teens at night can help them sleep better

If your teenage son or daughter is struggling to sleep at night, their smartphones may very well be the cause of it. According to a new study out of the Netherlands, it’s not just the screens that make it difficult to sleep, but the particular hue of the blue glow they admit.

To test the effects that blue-light emitting screens had on young people, researchers recruited 55 Dutch children ages 12 to 17 with varying degree of daily screen time usage. They were divided into three groups. Some were studied while using their screens as normal, while others wore glasses that blocked the screens’ blue light, and others completely abstained from glowing screens. Their sleep quality was judged over a five-week period using diaries, machines that track when a person is restfully sleeping, and by sampling their levels of melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep.

From the results, the researchers discovered that using blue-light-blocking glasses and reducing screen time a few hours before bed leads to better sleep overall.

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