Poor sleep quality due to late-night texting or calling has been linked to an increase in depression and low self-esteem in adolescents, say researchers.

A study of 1,101 Australian secondary school students aged between 13 and 16 years found that those who reported high levels of night-time mobile phone use also reported higher levels of depression, externalising behaviour and low self-esteem after a year. 

Mobile phone usage was seen to increase as adolescents progressed through school.

Sleep was disrupted due to the bright light from screens disrupting the natural sleep circadian rhythm and messages received spiking cognitive and emotional arousal before sleep. 

The researchers stressed that adolescents should use clocks instead of mobile phones for alarms and that parents should educate children by demonstrating good habits with their phones themselves. 

This study was published by the Society for Research in Child Development.