Up 2 L8: High School, College Students Losing Sleep Over Tech

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"Adolescents have a big sleep requirement. Most studies have shown that they need about 9.25 hours of sleep a night," said Emsellem.

Most don't get that, she said, because of the early start of the school day, their participation in extracurricular activities, school work and the amount of time they spend on the phone or online at night.

The obsession extends into the college years as well.

"If you visit a boy's dorm or a boy's apartment and there are four people living there, three will be on the Internet playing some sort of interactive game for hours," said Hilfer.

"The difference in the college population is they have flexibilities with time that high school and junior high school kids don't have," said Emsellem. "College campuses don't wind down until very late, and kids cope with that in college by altering their sleep schedule."

Parents Must Set Boundaries, Experts Say

Despite these findings, a survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that 90 percent of parents believe their teenage child is getting enough sleep.

"That's an awareness problem and a lack of education about the biological changes in sleep associated with adolescence," said Emsellem.

That also means that parents need to take charge and carefully monitor their teens' use of technology -- thought this may be easier said than done.

"Parents may have to take drastic measures, such as unplugging Wi-Fi or taking the computer away," said Hilfer. "Parents are desperately trying to get them to stop."

Michael Hall, a former principal and now a parenting consultant, took such drastic measures with his teenage sons, who are now 14 and 18.

"They both had to put their phones in the family room at night, where they'd charge," said Hall.

After his older son got an iPod Touch and could go on Facebook at night, Hall decided to shut off the home Wi-Fi connection at night.

Hall said now that his older son is in college, he's finally learned how important it is to get a good night's sleep.

"He got himself on a schedule pretty quick," said Hall.

Gabby Gomez also knows how important sleep is, but she manages to get through the days by consuming a lot of caffeine.

Even though she said she understands her sleep habits aren't healthy, the need for her BlackBerry trumps her need for sleep.

"I would be totally lost without it," she said.

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