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Teens who use cellphones often at night are prone to depression, scientists say

When it's time to sleep, it's time to sleep. 

According to research by the University of Basel in Switzerland, teens with smartphones tend to spend more time online especially at night, leaving themselves at risk of depression. 

The study, which was conducted on 300 students, analysed digital media consumption between teens with smartphones and teens with conventional phones.   

Results showed that only 17 per cent of smartphone users switched off their phones or left it on silent at night compared with 47 per cent of teens who owned conventional phones. 

Additionally, teens with smartphones spend an average of two hours on the Internet on weekdays - an hour more than those who own conventional smartphones.

Smartphone users also sent a whopping 85 messages a day on average. 

"Due to wireless Internet connections and cheap flat rates, teenagers with smartphones spend more time online and communicate with their peers for less money - for example via WhatsApp - which has changed their digital media use pattern profoundly," the research noted.  

Risk factor

Scientists claimed that the increased use of digital media at night have put teens at risk of poor sleep and depression.

"Sleep disturbance is an important risk factor for the development of depression during adolescence," said researchers.

"Excessive electronic media use at night is a risk factor for both adolescents’ sleep disturbance and depression."

The findings have been published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Source: Mirror Online, Times of India

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