More than a decade ago, the people who hung out on social media, like Facebook, were geeks and college kids. Today, however, it has become mainstream. Teenagers are using it to gather information.
Social media, per se, is a useful tool in helping us stay in touch with family and friends. But too much of it has harmful effects on the body.
In a recent study, researchers showed that teens in Britain are risking their health and education as they spend a lot of time on social media during bedtime.
Researchers revealed that more than a third of teenagers are spending a minimum of three hours per day on social media. Others devote five hours to it.
The study found that teens who spend three hours or more on social media were likely to sleep late. However, sleeping late during school nights could put them at risk of emotional outcome and poorer academic.
In adolescence, not getting enough sleep could be linked to a variety of mental health issues. Not only that, but it also leads to obesity and negatively affects performance at school.
The study also revealed that heavy social media users are awake most in the night. One of the reasons is the notifications disruption. They are also tempted to chat with their friends in early hours.
The findings, however, have yet to be peer-reviewed. Nevertheless, the researchers recommend young individuals to find a balance between social media use and having a good night’s rest, especially on weeknights.
Digital Life Affects Sleep
University of Pittsburgh researchers conducted a study about the social media habits of 2,000 people, age 19 to 32.
The study aimed to find a link between their online habits and sleep health. Released in 2016, the study showed that heavy digital users were likely to have sleep problems compared to those who were less-digitally-connected peers.
Researchers reported that there was a strong link between the use of social media and sleep deprivation. The cause was not revealed.
But the reason is pretty obvious. Individuals who keep their phones beside their beds are likely to check them throughout the night. And these sleep-deprived teenagers were likely to use medicines to prevent daytime tiredness.
Establishing boundaries can be impossible to achieve considering the digital media are available 24/7. Social media is not evil. The problem is how people utilize it, especially during bedtime, that makes it dangerous.
Balance is vital. But it requires a little planning. To help you get started, you can put your phone to sleep mode before going to bed.
That is if you need your phone to be near your bed. If not, consider having a family charging station for mobile devices at home. It can be in a kitchen or living room.
Turn off the screens before going to bed as it allows your eyes to break from the blue light. It also prepares your eyes and mind for sleeping.
Rather than using your phone’s alarm clock, consider investing and using a real alarm clock. It is especially important if you cannot stop yourself from checking your phone at night.