Social media may seem to be a great way to stay connected, but there is one big unexpected side effect, a new study says.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have changed our lives in many ways — and it seems that not for the better in one very important way.
People are losing sleep because of social media, claims a new study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, according to a TechCrunch report.
The study found that young adults who spent a lot of time on social media during the daytime are more likely to lose sleep than those who don’t use social media as often.
The research team found that the big social media users who participate in their study spent a whopping 61 hours per week on social media, which could include sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. A total of 1,788 people between the ages of 19 and 32 were surveyed.
Of those individuals, 30 percent had a high level of sleep disturbance. The root cause of it may be that social media is detrimental to sleep because it is stimulating and rewarding and thus difficult to get off of.
“This is one of the first pieces of evidence that social media use really can impact your sleep,” lead author Jessica C. Levenson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt’s Department of Psychiatry, said in a statement. “And it uniquely examines the association between social media use and sleep among young adults who are, arguably, the first generation to grow up with social media.”
She added: “This may indicate that frequency of social media visits is a better predictor of sleep difficulty than overall time spent on social media. If this is the case, then interventions that counter obsessive ‘checking’ behavior may be most effective.”