DECEMBER 16, 2015

Survey finds children’s digital midnight snacking harms their education

A survey of 3,000 U.S. parents of high school children aged 12 to 15 in the US has found that 62 percent of parents have discovered their children using social media or browsing the internet instead of sleeping over the past 12 months, raising concerns that the lack of sleep is harming their children’s performance at school.

The survey of 3000 US parents by Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website, comes during the start of the school year and highlights concerns that use of digital devices at night are making children more fatigued and less able to concentrate during the school day.

The study found that 51 percent parents said their suspicions were aroused because their children were more tired and irritable in the mornings and were unusually tired after school.

Of parents concerned about their children browsing the Internet at night:
74 percent of parents said that it affected their quality of sleep
62 percent made them more irritable and less able to concentrate
69 percent said that they were worried it would lead to fatigue in the classroom with their children less able to concentrate on schoolwork
37 percent are concerned that the lack of sleep could causes anxiety and depression
51 percent said they had noticed that it has affected their children’s ability to finish homework
46 percent of parents said they had raised the issue with teachers with many saying they also noticed that children were more tried in the classroom
56 percent of parents have observed their children working on school work while also using social media. They worried that these multi-tasking was affecting their children’s concentration as well
42 percent of parents felt a high level of guilt and blame themselves for the detrimental impact of social media and the Internet on their children’s education, believing they were unable to ban the use of social media as its presence is so pervasive

Tim Rollins, Research Director at Stop Procrastinating, said: "Children used to be caught having a midnight snack or reading under the bed covers, now they are staying up late into the night browsing the internet or using social media, sending messages to friends.

While not every child read or ate under the covers, it seems that a majority are now using social media instead of sleeping. Evidence shows it is affecting their concentrate and causing fatigue and could do real damage to their education attainment.”