Social media use can cause sleep disturbance: study shows


Extreme social media use can cause sleep disturbance at night, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburg.getty/iStock

Extreme social media use can cause sleep disturbance at night, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburg.

All those hours you spend on social media are cutting into your sleep.

Extreme social media use can cause sleep disturbance at night, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburg and backed by the National Institutes of Health.

The study was based on a questionnaire distributed to 1,788 U.S. adults aged 19 through 32. The questions included were all focused on sleep disturbance and social media habits on platforms such as Facebook, Twiter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.

About 30% of the participants, who said they had high levels of sleep disturbance, were the group who most obsessively checked their social media accounts. Most participants said they log on to their accounts for more than one hour a day.

Jessica Levenson, the lead author of the study, said the results indicate that frequently checking social media is the best indicator of sleep difficulty. She also said that doctors might soon have to ask patients about their social media habits if the report sleeping issues-just like they ask about alcohol, smoking and sex habits.

The University of Pittsburg said they still need to conduct more research to determine cause and effect. They’re not certain if social media use disrupts sleep, or if sleep deprivation increases social media use.

Some tech companies have already started to roll out features that could help people sleep. F.lux is software that adjusts the colors of a phone or computer screen depending on the time of day. It especially helps at night because it creates warm colors that will help users sleep better.

Apple has also announced its own version, which is called Night Shift. The feature is expected to roll out with iOS 9.3.

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health studies



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