Teens are glued to their cell phones. That’s not breaking news. However, did you know that when teens get into bed at night, they often spend hours scrolling through their Instagram feeds and messaging their friends on Snapchat? While it’s bad for teens for the obvious reasons— leading to lack of sleep, lost motivation, and disinterest in socializing in real life—it’s also a danger to their mental health.

What Is My Teen Doing on Their Phone So Late at Night?

Your teen is always on their phone—why could they possibly need to stay up so late? It’s a little complicated, but here are a few reasons why your teen could be staying up late.

  • They want to connect with friends.In the age of social media, teens are always connected to their friends online. And, they can harbor very real FOMO (or “fear of missing out”). They don’t want to miss out on the conversation with peers. And because teens are busier now that ever before, bedtime might be the only time to have real heart-to-heart conversations.
  • They’re addicted to social media. 50% of teens say they feel addicted to their mobile device—much of which is because of social media. Social media is addictive (even adults fall prey to scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on end) and gaining “likes” or comments can be as enjoyable as eating a slice of cake.
  • They haven’t thought of the consequences. Teenagers are smart and adaptable human beings, but they are not full-grown adults. Their brains have not fully developed and sometimes this leads to a lapse in judgment. Maybe your teen just hasn’t thought about the consequences of staying up late on their cell phone…or maybe they haven’t associated their sleep deprivation with their cell phone usage.  

Whatever the case, many argue that late-night technology usage is detrimental to the developing teenage brain and psyche. Read on to learn more about the mental health effects of technology, social media, and sleep deprivation.

Mental Health Effects of Technology and Sleep Deprivation

Technology and its ‘lack of sleep’ effect can be damaging to your teen’s mental health. Staying up late to tweet, check-in with friends, or Snapchat a crush can lead to morning yawns, lack of concentration, and lower GPAs. However, it’s negative effects can go beyond feeling sleepy in class the next day. Because teens are still developing mentally, sleep deprivation can take a major toll on teenagers.

Over time, a lack of sleep in teenagers has the potential to severely impact their ability to regulate emotions, puts them at risk for depression, and can lead to risky behaviors.

If you think your teen is experiencing mental health effect from the intersection of technology and lack of sleep, it might be time to have a conversation and set boundaries for phone usage. Think your teen needs additional help? There are teen residential treatment centers for technology addiction—like Fire Mountain in Denver, Colorado.

Fire Mountain: Denver’s Leading Teen Residential Treatment Center for Technology Addiction

To protect their teenagers’ mental and physical health, there must be clear guidelines around cell phones and sleep. Creating healthy technology boundaries is one of the goals at Fire Mountain, Denver’s leading teen residential treatment center for technology addiction.

Do you think your teen needs outside help to overcome a technology addiction or social media obsession? Fire Mountain is a residential treatment center for troubled teens ages 12 to 17. We are well known as the best Denver teen residential treatment center, helping them overcome addiction and find their path to joy, fulfillment, and maturity.

Ready to enroll your child or teen in a Denver teen residential treatment center? We are located near Estes Park, Colorado. However, we admit teens from anywhere in the U.S.To learn more about insurance coverings, financing options, and how to register, contact us online today or give our team a call at (303) 443-3343. On the call, you will speak with an admissions counselor and complete a preliminary assessment to determine whether your teen is a good fit for the program.