Can’t Sleep? Blame Social Media
Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 1:00PM
Dr. Weil in Science and Supplement News, insomnia, sleep, social media, technology

Spending too much time on social media - or at least checking these Internet sites frequently - could spell sleeping problems for some young adults. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine collected data from 1,788 adults ages 19 through 32 about their use of social media and how well they sleep. The study participants were asked about the amount of time they spend on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and seven other social media platforms. The researchers reported that, on average, study participants spent 61 minutes a day on social media and visited various social media sites 30 times per week. The sleep assessment showed that nearly 30 percent of the participants had a lot of trouble sleeping. Those who spent the most time on social media daily had almost twice the risk of sleep disturbances as those who spent the least time on these sites. The researchers concluded that use of social media can disturb sleep, especially if a user stays up late posting photos on Instagram or gets involved in an argument on Facebook. They also suggested that the bright light emitted by devices used to access social media disturbs sleep by disrupting circadian rhythm. Another possibility: individuals having trouble falling asleep might increase their use of social media, which could worsen their sleeping problems.

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