Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sleep Loss in Teens Linked to Social Media

by Yamilex Batista

In this generation, teenagers are becoming so addicted and obsessed with social media that it can potentially affect their ability to focus in school. Instead of getting nine hours of sleep, most teenagers dedicate their time to use social media during the night.

According to a recent article in Media Post, “Sleep Loss in Teens Linked to Social Media,” a survey from the Wales Institute for social & Economic Research revealed that one-fifth of 900 students, ages 12 to 15 years old, reported to “almost always” waking up during the night. Moreover, the study found that teenage females were more likely to use social media more often than teenage males during the night time. This emphasizes that teenagers are developing a sleep disorder because of uncontrollable social media use. As a result of this sleepless pattern, students tend to feel tired and less motivated during class time, which negatively affects their academic performance.

The article also links social media to sleep disruption by referring to the study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. However, this survey aimed to target adults ages 19 to 32 within the United States instead of middle school teenagers. Out of 1,788 adults surveyed in the study about 30% pointed out to experience sleep disturbance. The study also pointed out that adults who were constantly using social media tended to feel three times more tired, compared to adults who use social media at a lower rate.

However, studies in an article from the Medical Daily, “Sleep and Social Media: New Study Finds Link Between Facebook Use and Lack of Sleep,” aim to indicate people tend to check social media late at night as a result of a previous sleep disturbance. The research demonstrated that sleep disruption does not arise from social media use during the night. The study revealed that the use of social media during the night is increasing because students tend to use it to control their disrupted sleep schedules. Students believe that using Facebook during the night might help them fall asleep faster. At the same time, students developed the habit of constantly checking social media pages or Facebook to stay informed and to relax their mind.

Overall, this research reveals one of the many outcomes and factors contributing to uncontrollable social media use. Young people in the U.S. are devoted to spending most of their time on social media, instead of focusing in school and the real-world environment. High use of social media or Facebook can cause sleep disruption, but at the same time, the lack of sleep can influence to the use of social media.

About the Author: Yamilex is currently a Marketing Intern at Knect365 where she assists in social media research & management, blog writing, and various marketing tasks. She is also a student at the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation. She hopes to attend the University Pennsylvania or Boston College to major in communications with integrated marketing.

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