The Monitor Daily (U.S.) – Stop using social media compulsively for a healthy sleep say researchers with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The study conducted with the help of 1,788 American adults proved that Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media websites are more than just procrastination means.
They’re downright deterrents for a good night’s sleep. The volunteers participating in the study were aged 19 to 32. Using questionnaires to assess social media use and scientific measurements to determine sleep disturbances, the research team managed to pinpoint severe sleep disturbances on frequent social media use.
Those who reported spending a lot of time on any social media application throughout the day and week were more prone to suffer sleep disturbances. The study’s findings could provide physicians with further suggestions as to how to assess sleep disturbances. Jessica C. Levenson, lead author on the study and postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh declared that the research provided the first proof on the impact social media use has on sleep patterns.
The target group of the research were young adults, approximately the same generation who grew up with Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and others as the field expanded. In 2014, when the questionnaires were handed out, the research team assessed social media use based on 11 platforms. Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, GooglePlus, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine and LinkedIn were included.
The questionnaires’ results indicated that participants had more than one account linked to social media. On average, they spent 61 minutes on social media daily and accessed their social media accounts at least 30 times weekly.
30 percent of the participants were found to suffer from sleep disturbances. What’s more, the more frequent they accessed any of their social media accounts throughout the week, the higher the likelihood it would impact sleep quality. The researchers found that with frequent social media use came a threefold likelihood of suffering sleep disturbances.
With increased social media use throughout the day, the risk of sleep disturbances was twice as high. Doctor Levenson pointed out that the frequency of social media visits may serve as a better indicator of sleep disturbances than the overall social media use.
We know just how addictive all of social media sites are. A five-minute break on Facebook may well turn into an hour long break of scrolling and rewarding interaction with others. However, it may be safer to control our need to log on so frequently if we care about sleep quality. Thus, stop using social media compulsively for a healthy sleep.
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