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Checking mobiles at night leaves teenagers too tired for school

Almost half (45%) of young people are checking their mobile phones after they have gone to bed, often looking at Snapchat, YouTube and WhatsApp, according to a new poll.

The survey of 2,745 11–18-year-olds found that a quarter of students spend over an hour on their devices after going to bed, which leaves them tired and affects their school work.

The study also found evidence that children as young as nine were checking their devices more than 10 times throughout the night.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) meant that 10% of those questioned said they felt stressed if they didn’t check their mobile before going to sleep.

The poll was carried out by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) and Digital Awareness UK (DAUK).

Mike Buchanan, chair of HMC and head of Ashford School said: 'The data suggests those who do check their phones, they’re mostly driven by not wishing to miss out.

‘Clearly there are some times when children are not concentrating because they are tired, and that has an obvious impact on their ability to keep up with what’s going on - there is a desire to stay within the group.

‘It’s not that this [technology] is all horrible and terrible and that we should all be wringing our hands.

‘It is more a case that here's the reality, let's use it and try to influence the use of technology in a positive way.’