Here's why too much Facebook can keep us awake

Constantly checking social media has a major impact on our rest, a major US study has found. Photo / Bloomberg
Constantly checking social media has a major impact on our rest, a major US study has found. Photo / Bloomberg

It is a trap many fall into, but constantly checking social media has a major impact on our rest, a major US study has found.

Young people who obsessively visit websites and smartphone apps such as YouTube and Facebook are three times more likely to have difficulty sleeping than occasional users, researchers said. Those who spend over an hour a day on social networks are twice as likely to wake up feeling tired.

The University of Pittsburgh researchers said: 'Social media use may promote emotional, cognitive, and/or physiological arousal...watching a provoking video on YouTube or engaging in a contentious discussion on Facebook just before going to bed may contribute to disturbed sleep.'

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Others struggle to get sufficient rest because the bright screen of their computer or phone disrupts their body clock.

The researchers interviewed nearly 1,800 Americans aged 19-32, who spent an average of 61 minutes a day on social media. They were quizzed about eleven popular networks including Facebook and Twitter.

Three in ten reported 'high levels' of sleep disturbance, a figure that rose the more time they spent on social media and the more often they logged on.

Jessica Levenson, lead author of the study in the journal Preventative Medicine, said: 'This is one of the first pieces of evidence that social media use really can impact your sleep.'

- NZ Herald

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