Social | Is social media disturbing your sleep?

By  |  0 Comments

Before we nod off, or try too, many of us spend our last moments scanning our social media feeds so we can finally ‘check out’ for the day. However, it’s such a habit that could be causing your disturbed sleep.

It has long been argued by many that screen time before sleeping is a contributing factor to insomnia. Answering emails, texting and tweeting prevent your brain from shutting down thus causing that endless tossing and turning. For some, they do eventually get to sleep. For others, however, the struggle is harder.

Studies on young adults earlier this year confirmed this trend. According to new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, study participants who frequently checked social media throughout the week had three times the likelihood of sleep disturbances, compared with those who checked less.

They found that social media may disturb nodding off if it is displacing sleep, such as when a user stays up late posting photos on Instagram.

It may also disturb your sleep routine if the activity promotes emotional, cognitive or physiological arousal, such as when engaging in a contentious discussion on Facebook or if you see something upsetting.

The bright lights emitted by the devices used to access social media accounts is also said to be a contributing factor.

So what do we do when we cannot sleep? Instead of putting the phone away, we reportedly use social media as a pleasurable way to pass the time.

To avoid this vicious cycle, get into  the habit of not using your phone before you go to sleep. Reading a book or meditating are the preferred options, as is taking a bath. Put the phone out of reach. If you use it for your alarm, invest in a good alarm clock.

Your sleep is more important that scanning your news feed.