One hour of social media a day could be ruining your sleep, new study shows

PHOTO: Getty Images/ Gallo Images
PHOTO: Getty Images/ Gallo Images

We all know that using your phone before bed is bad for you but a new study shows that even using it throughout the day can impact your sleep patterns.

The study conducted by Canadian researchers looked at data from 5 242 people aged between 11 to 20 years.

Researchers measured the learners’ sleep duration against the recommended nine to 11 hours a night for children aged between 11 and 13 years and the eight to 10 hours of sleep for 14- to 17-year-olds.

They also measured the sleep patterns of those 18 years or older, whose recommended sleep time is seven to nine hours a night.

The results of the study weren’t encouraging, according to Metro UK.

It showed that using social media (including WhatsApp, as well as the usual Facebook and Snapchat) for just one hour a day greatly affect how much sleep the children got.

The more time they spend using these apps and sites the less they slept.

The study also found that teenage girls were the most addicted to social media and were therefore more likely to be sleep deprived.

This doesn’t mean that boys weren’t affected as well; in fact, it affects boys just the same.

Even though the study focused on children and teenagers, researcher said the findings were important as social media has grown rapidly and children and teenagers are more likely to use the new technology and develop bad habits which they carry on into adulthood, reports the late news network.

Other studies found that poor sleep is linked to poor academic performance.

The study was published in the medical journal Acta Paediatrica.

Sleep is an essential competent for health development and contributes greatly to physical health and mental health, explains senior author Dr Jean-Philippe Chaput of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute.

“But insufficient sleep has become widespread among adolescents over the past few decades.”

Insufficient sleep among teenagers has often been attributed to factors such as artificial light, caffeine use and a lack of bedtime rules in the household but this study examined the association between social media use and sleep patterns.

The aim of the study was to answer one question: why are so many young people struggling to sleep eight hours? Daily Mail reports.

“We observed that social media use was associated with greater odds of short sleep duration in a dose-response manner, “Dr Chaput said.

He added the impact of social media on sleep patterns has become a topic of great interest.

Source: Daily Mail, Metro UK, Late News Network