Research Links Extreme Social Media Use With Disrupted Sleep

Research Links Extreme Social Media Use With Disrupted Sleep

Obsessive social media use on Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms are linked to sleeping disturbance. According to a study conducted by the lead author, Jessica C. Levenson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at Pitt’s Department of Psychiatry, published in Preventive Magazine, young adults who spend more time checking their social media, during the day or those who frequently check their social media accounts, are more likely to suffer from sleep disturbance.

Dr. Levenson said, the use of social media is one of the first pieces that can impact sleep pattern. It was found out, among the 1,788 US based research participants who, on the average 61 minutes per day were allocated for social media visits. The top platforms identified are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumbler, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.

Further, these social media platforms have been visited at least 30 times per week, and the assessment revealed that almost 30% of the research participants had high levels of sleep disturbance.

Levenson found out that participants who frequently checked their social media account throughout the week tripled their probability of sleep disruptions compared to those who don’t frequently check their social media pages.

Similarly, participants who frequented the social media sites throughout the day had twice the risk of sleep disturbance versus those who spent less time on social media.

In was identified that the use of social media may interrupt sleep if the user stays up posting photos on Instagram when the user engages in an arguable discussion on Facebook, which directly promotes emotional, cognitive or physiological arousal, and when the user’s circadian rhythm is disrupted due to the bright light emitted from the device.

Conversely, young adults with sleeping problems may subsequently use social media to pass their time when they can’t sleep, stressed Dr. Brian A. Primack, assistant vice chancellor for health and society in Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences.

If these hypotheses are proven true, said Dr. Primack, a sleeping problem due to increased social media use, may lead to more problems related to sleeping. He said that the cycle may pause to be problematic as there are many forms involve interactive screen time that is stimulating at the same rewarding, potentially harming sleep.

In the US alone, nearly two-thirds own a smartphone and 19% of the smartphone owners rely on this gadget to access information, services and connecting to the world, according to the 2015 data published by the Pew Research Center.

 

References:

http://www.upmc.com/media/NewsReleases/2016/Pages/levenson-primack-smsleep.aspx

U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015

 

Amabelle Equio,  Ph.D candidate in Nursing at Silliman University, Health, Fitness, Medical Writer, Photography Enthusiast.

Edited-Dr. Lin

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