Heavy Social Media Use Linked With Disturbed Sleep

Stop blaming yourself for being inclined to insomnia — rather, blame your social media use!

social media sleep

As goes the golden rule, too much of something good will most likely be detrimental to one’s health. Social media is no exception. Heavy social media use might be disrupting sleep patterns, says a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

It is no secret that people at large tend to be glued to their phones and laptops because of online social networks. The latter are supposed to connect them with their family and friends. But, to what extent? A growing body of research is linking social media with disturbed sleep.

The new study deals with young adults who have a social media account. It was found that those claiming to spend more time on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine or LinkedIn had a greater chance of having sleep problems.

Disturbingly, over 50 % of the participants reported medium or high levels of sleep disturbance.

On the other hand, one could argue that those not able to sleep are those who will use social media. Why is it not plausible that the issue is actually the other way round? Instead of saying that social media use is keeping people from sleeping, perhaps, the answer is that those who cannot find sleep for some other reason prefer to use social media. The researchers say that more research needs to be done to clear the fog surrounding this question.

Lead author Jessica C. Levenson from Pitt’s Department of Psychiatry says that future research will be done to reproduce their findings in other populations to provide more insight into the link between social media use and disturbed sleep.

The paper will be published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

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