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Social Media May Be Messing With Your Sleep

First Posted: Jan 27, 2016 12:01 AM EST

New findings published in the journal Preventive Medicine show how use of social media can interfere with our sleep.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine examined almost 2,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 32 by looking at questionnaires to examine social media use and an established measurement system to assess sleep disturbances. The questionnaires asked about the 11 most popular social media platforms that included Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube  and more--revealing findings that participants used social media, on average, about 61 minutes per day and visited various social media accounts 30 times per week.

"This is one of the first pieces of evidence that social media use really can impact your sleep," said lead author Jessica C. Levenson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt's Department of Psychiatry, via CBS Pittsburgh. "And it uniquely examines the association between social media use and sleep among young adults who are, arguably, the first generation to grow up with social media."

The study results showed that close to 30 percent of participants had high levels of sleep disturbances while those who checked social media most frequently were three times more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances than those who checked accounts less frequently.

However, more studies will be needed in order to determine that social media was the cause of sleeping issues and not that participants used social media more because they couldn't sleep, etc.

"Future research should work to replicate our findings in other populations, as well as to understand better the reasons why social media use is related to disturbed sleep," Levenson told NBC News.

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