There’s a growing trend of people being more and more concerned about their health. It seems like there’s a new miracle cure or fix that appears every single week announcing this one small change will increase your health for your lifetime. At the same time, one of the areas that people are starting to look into is the effects of social media on our lives. This makes sense, considering time spent on social media has rapidly increased over the years.
One of the biggest surprises of all this research is the connection between our sleep and social media. Sleep is one of the most critical aspects of staying healthy, and anything affecting this can be quite damaging.
Believe it or not, studies have now found that just one hour of social media a day can impact your sleep. Yep, just one hour.
Research Shows New Habits Hurt Our Sleep
Time spent on our phones and in front of other screens has multiplied rapidly over the years. There have been numerous studies out there that have measured the impact of screens on our sleep and health. The research often focuses on how being on your phone late at night can ruin your sleep patterns.
The findings have been quite consistent and the consistent recommendation is to have some screen-free time before bed. Some studies have even found the impact becomes much worse when you look at children.
Canadian Researchers Studied Impacts of Social Media on Sleep
A study done by a group of researchers from Canada analyzed connections between social media usage and positive sleep patterns. The data used was gathered by the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. The study was incredibly comprehensive and featured data from over 5,000 students to determine if there were any impacts of media use and general sleep quality.
Media Use Can Have a Serious Impact on Sleep Health
When analyzing all of the data, some interesting findings cropped up. One of the key findings was over 70% of students reported using social media for at least a single hour each day. Additionally, over 60% of students reported getting less than the recommended sleep amount each night. The researchers dug into this data to determine if there were any direct links. After the analysis, the researchers determined that a single of daily social media usage can have a negative impact on overall sleep health.
Growing Data Proves Our Sleep is Hurt by Screen Time
The head of the study, Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput, stated the new findings add to the growing research proving our time spent in front of screens are impacting our health and behaviors more than we realize. She mentioned we are just beginning to understand the risks and benefits of “electronic screen devices.” Chaput added, “We observed that social media use was associated with greater odds of short sleep duration in a dose-response manner. Importantly, significant associations were found when social media use exceeded one hour per day.”
This new research is one in a line of studies that is attempting to understand the impacts of technology on our lives. There’s been an incredibly quick change in our everyday lives as technology innovation has boomed over the last decade or so. However, without more research we are still only in the early stages of understanding what the overall impacts will be.
About the author:
Chris Brantner is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and founder at SleepZoo.com. His sleep expertise has been featured on HuffPost, Bustle, Brit+Co, and many other major publications.