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Terrible texting teens

You probably think you're addicted to text messaging, but you've got nothing on American teenagers. A new study has revealed the scary extent to which US teens have become addicted to twiddling their thumbs to communicate with their friends.

Four of of five US teens sleep with the phone on and beside their bed, and some even keep it under their pillow for 'emergency' texts. 'I just don't feel like myself if I don't have my phone near me or I'm not on it,' one glass-eyed tech-robot, 14, said.

Sounds harmless enough - most nights, there won't be any texts in the middle of the night anyway, right? But apparently, lying in anticipation of a bit of hot gossip coming down the pipes doesn't count as restorative sleep.

This semi-sleep is being dubbed "on call" by teens, parents and doctors at Children's Hospital in Boston, where they are seeing an alarming number of inexplicably exhausted children admitted for evaluation. Yes, you read that correctly! Kids these days are texting so often they're actually disrupting Stage 4 REM sleep. This is the same stage of sleep that's important for processing the day's learning experiences so, yes, in this case cellphones literally are affecting children's brains and making them dumber.

Depressing stuff. Do you sleep with your phone on? If so, try not doing that. You might sleep better. If something really urgent happens, your friends'll probably call your landline.

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