Researchers at JFK Medical Center, Edison, have found that teenagers send at least 34 texts a night for about four hours, after going to bed. In fact, they have found that they often consider losing a phone more important than losing an organ.

However recent studies reveal that these children often suffered from cognitive and mood related problems including depression, anxiety disorders and difficulties in learning.

“Media opportunities like texting and games are worse than TV because they are interactive,” says Dr. Peter Polos, lead researcher and a specialist in sleep medicine at the Sleep Disorder Center at JFK Medical Center. “Removing these distractions would maximize children’s sleep time. Bedtime is bedtime and lights out.”

Researchers have found that girls often text more in response to games, as compared to guys.

The study of 40 students ages 8 and 22 has showed insight into gender differences in texting practices. They noted that boys were more likely to play online games and surf the internet than texting.

Marie Letizia Ivers, a mother of three teens in Montebello, N.Y., said when she took her niece, now an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers, to visit colleges last year, she slept with her phone right next to her bed.

“All through the night she would seem to be asleep but suddenly lift up on an elbow and type into her phone,” said Ivers. “Then she dropped back onto the pillow and seemed to be fast asleep.”

Amanda Burr, an 18-year-old freshman at Concordia College in Mount Vernon, N.Y., says she falls asleep as she is texting.

“I'm usually texting three or four people per night right before I go to sleep," she says, but says she doesn't think if impacts how much sleep she gets "unless someone sends me a message after I'm already asleep because it wakes me up.”

Though, none of them said they felt tired the next day, study authors note that this can lead to bigger problems. So, what should parents do?

“Get a locked strongbox, and put all phones and blackberries there until morning,” says Mary A. Carskadon, director of chronobiology/sleep research at the E.P. Bradley Hospital and professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School, who has researched insufficient sleep in adolescents.

“It’s clear if you have a phone in bed with you and it’s turned on it’s going to interfere with your performance in school, and teens feel like they always need to be connected to their friends. Young people need limits set, because their brains are still developing, and they need their parents to take action.”