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Is social media use affecting sleep patterns?

By Tim Sandle     Jan 18, 2017 in Health
Cardiff - Obsession with social media is taking its toll, especially among young people. A new report has found one in five young people are making do with less sleep due to social media use; and this sleep deprivation is having an impact.
One of the biggest societal changes in the past few years has been the expansion of social meeting and the interconnection with people’s lives. For example, a majority of U.S. citizens say they get all of their news via social media, and half of the public has turned to these sites to learn about the 2016 presidential election (which brought its own issues relating to fake news stories).
With Facebook and Twitter, which are among the most popular social media platforms, young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels. What affect is this use having on people’s lives?
This question has been probed by Professor Sally Power, Co-Director (Cardiff) Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research. Professor Power has found that, in the majority of cases, night-time social media activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school compared with those who do not log on at night. According to The Star, which reviewed the study, the outcome of the tiredness, together with the continual need to interact, is affecting the high-level users’ happiness and well-being.
The new research is based on a review of some 900 pupils, aged between 12 to 15 years. Data was collected by questionnaire. One research question was to ask how often people woke up at night to use social media as well as their times of going to bed and waking up. Questions were also asked about emotional state, including how happy the respondents were with various aspects of their life. Unhappiness extended to school, social like and personal appearance.
About 20 percent of people admitted waking up at night to log-on and to check social media accounts. In terms of gender, girls did this far more often than boys. Those who engaged in this activity were far more to be tired and reportedly to feel less happy.
The study supports other data which raises concerns about social media use and the effect of this upon younger people in particular. The use of social media and its incursion into the so-called 'sanctuary' of the bedroom is highlighted as a particular concern in the study.
The research study has been published in the Journal of Youth Studies and is titled “Sleepless in school? The social dimensions of young people’s bedtime rest and routines.”
More about Social media, Sleep, Sleep deprivation, Insomnia, Teens
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