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Using social media platforms causes sleep problems
Today's technology has a huge impact on our lives. Almost everyone is active on some social media platforms. But is it possible that Facebook and Twitter rob us of the night's sleep?
Sleep problems are common and can have different causes. Is it possible that social media platforms influence us strongly and thus disturb our night's sleep? Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh are now conducting a study on the subject.
On average, people use 61 minutes of social media platforms every day
Many people suffer from sleep problems these days. These can be triggered, for example, by stress at work, anger with the partner or all kinds of other reasons. Researchers found in a recent study that social media platforms could also be to blame for our sleep problems. Around 30 percent of people who suffer from sleep disorders are said to be the most active social media users at night. Dr. Jessica Levinson and her colleagues surveyed more than 1,700 adults, ages 19 to 32, about their social media use. The participants were asked about their activities on the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, snapchat and Google Plus. The researchers found that the average user spends around 61 minutes a day on social media platforms. Those affected check their various social media accounts about 30 times a week, the scientists claimed.
Compulsive use of social media increases sleep problems by three times
The research could be the first evidence that our social media usage can really affect human sleep, explains Dr. Levenson in a press release on the latest study results. The study examines the relationship between social media use and sleep in young adults. These teenagers are probably the first generation to grow up with social media platforms. When people compulsively use social media, the researchers said the likelihood of developing sleep disorders increased. The value is three times as high as for people who do not use such programs as often, the doctors explain. Those who used social media during the day were generally twice as likely to have insomnia as people without access to social media platforms, the experts added.
Vicious circle: Sleep disorders also lead to more use of social media platforms
The results also indicate that the frequency of social media visits affects our sleep more than the total time spent on social media platforms, explains Dr. Levenson. If this is the case, then interventions that prevent or at least restrict the obsessive checking of the social media accounts make sense. In the past, stress at work, in studies, or in private projects was mainly associated with insomnia. But nowadays, the use of social media platforms can also contribute to stress, the experts warn. Sleep disorders could also lead to increased use of social media platforms, which in turn would trigger more sleep problems. The cycle could be particularly dangerous because many social media platforms require interactive time on the screen, which is usually stimulating and may therefore lead to us sleeping poorly, explains Dr. Leverson. However, more research needs to be done to find out whether constant social media use causes sleep disorders or whether the sleep problems encourage people to log more into their social media accounts, the researchers explain. (As)