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Digital Devices in Teen Bedrooms

Taken from the June 3rd Marshall Memo

In this Education Week article, Alyson Klein reports on a 2019 Common Sense Media
study showing that teens’ attachment to their phones and tablets doesn’t stop at bedtime:
- 29 percent have devices in bed with them all night.

- 39 percent keep them within reach.
- 11 percent have their devices in the room but out of reach.
- 19 percent park them in another room.
- At least 36 percent say they wake up at least once a night to check their devices.
- 32 percent check their devices within five minutes of waking up.

Parents have a similar pattern, with 62 percent keeping technology within easy reach overnight,
but only 12 percent have smartphones or tablets with them in bed.

This flies in the face of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that
bedrooms should be a “tech-free zone,” and the National Sleep Foundation’s suggestion that
we should have a “digital curfew” at least 30 minutes before bedtime. For teens, ignoring these
guidelines means that many are grumpy and unfocused during the day in school. “Prioritizing
checking their phone over sleep, that is like the worst thing they could actually do,” says
Alaska middle-school principal Jethro Jones. He’s working on getting students to agree to turn
off their phones a half hour before bedtime and not checking them in the morning until they’ve
been up for 30 minutes. In his own house, the adults and four children all put their phones in a
charging station in the kitchen overnight.

“Many Teens Sleep With Digital Devices, Report Finds. Is That Why They Are So Cranky?”
by Alyson Klein in Education Week, May 29, 2019, https://bit.ly/2XmBWK4

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