Addiction to social networking is making students chronically tired and putting their education at risk, experts say.
A survey by Best Enemies Education, which holds workshops for year 8-10 students on cyber-bullying, said 80 per cent of the 3080 students polled slept with their phone. Half the girls surveyed tucked phones under their pillows and set them to vibrate.
Chief executive Ross Bark said students were so obsessed with Facebook and SMS that they checked messages until very late. "A lot of students, girls in particular, are falling asleep in class by noon as they leave their phones on vibrate and it wakes them up," Mr Bark said. "It becomes harder for teachers to get children to focus on schoolwork." He said students did not want to be out of the gossip loop when they arrived at school.
Clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller said many teens did not get quality sleep to help them learn and guard against problems such as depression. "It starts a vicious circle - they use energy drinks to be more alert in the morning, but that causes other issues and they are often more grumpy," he said.