Bleary-Eyed Students Can't Stop Texting, Even to Sleep, a Researcher Finds
By Alexandra Rice
for the Chronicle
Michelle Fox had just fallen asleep when her cellphone buzzed on the night table. She read the text message from her friend, thought about answering it, but then remembered her early class and instead tried to fall back to sleep. But Ms. Fox, a senior at the University of Rhode Island, couldn't stop thinking about the message and how her friend might be upset with her if she didn't respond.
She had to answer the text.
Many people, especially young adults, feel a sense of attachment to their phones and view the devices as a social lifeline that they can't do without, even when the anxiety the phones produce keeps them up at night, say researchers studying students' use of cellphones.
Sue K. Adams, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Rhode Island, wasn't thinking about cellphones when she asked her students to keep sleep journals—she was just curious about their sleeping habits. But through those journal entries, she began to notice the effects phones were having on their sleep.