Night Texting Affects Teenagers' Grades, Study Says

A recent study suggested that texting during night times is one of the factors why teenagers have failing grades. Published in the Journal of Child Neurology, the study's findings are sought to be helpful in addressing these kinds of teenage issues.

Researchers from Rutgers University in the U.S. evaluated 1,537 responses from three New Jersey high schools. The experts compared the data of these teenagers from their grades and the duration of texting -- whether the messaging occurred under the lights on or off during bedtimes.

After comparing the records, researchers found out that those who didn't text anymore after lights out or less than 30 minutes after turning off the lights significantly performed better in school, compared to those who stayed up late more than 30 minutes after turning off lights to continue texting.

The study also found out that those individuals who texted longer in the dark were always yawning during the day. And those people who turned off devices before turning off the lights had stable grades.

Researchers also said that they discovered females texted more than the boys. However, female students still outperformed boys because the exchanged of messaging only occurred before lights went out.

Led author Xue Ming, professor of neuroscience and neurology said that the effects of "blue light" has something to do with this. She said once the light is off, smartphones and other gadgets emit blue light. This particular light delays the melatonin -- the hormone that makes a person sleepy.

Hence, Ming said if the light delays the release of melatonin, the function of circadian rhythm will be disrupted -- leading to a poor school performance. "Rapid eye movement sleep is the period during sleep most important to learning, memory consolidation and social adjustment in adolescents," she explained as reported in the CTV News. "When falling asleep is delayed but rising time is not, REM sleep will be cut short, which can affect learning and memory."

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