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How social media messes up your sleep

social media sleep

As we know, quality of sleep can affect both our mental and physical health. Regularly getting a good night’s sleep can improve brain performance and help maintain a healthy weight. Whereas poor sleep may increase the risk of anxiety, depression or insomnia.

Adults are advised to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, recent research by Get Laid Beds shows that more than half of people in the UK (56%) only get six to seven hours of sleep.

There are many reasons people lie awake at night, with, scrolling social media before bedtime being a major culprit. According to Get Laid Beds , people in the UK spend an average of half an hour on social media before going to sleep.

Social media usage increases yearly in the UK, which is no surprise, especially among the younger generations as they are known for using these platforms to following the latest trend and connect with online communities. A recent survey[1] found that there are 74% of respondents used social media every day while only 2% of them acclaimed that they never used it.

While Instagram and TikTok are assumed to be the most popular platforms among Gen Z and millennials, Facebook actually tops as the most used social app in the UK.

As of June 2023, 1.8 million teens in the UK were using Facebook, compared to 1.5 million using Instagram. Currently, there are around 46 million Facebook users in the UK, accounting for approximately 68% of the population, with people aged 25 to 34 making up a quarter of all users[2]. 

Consuming too much social media before bedtime significantly affects sleep quality in the long term for all ages. The more time people spend on screen such as using social media, the more trouble they have falling asleep, causing disruptions to sleep. 

Also, people who scroll through social media on electronic devices before bedtime may encounter a range of sleep problems due to blue light exposure. It leads to delayed sleep, sleep deficiency and daytime sleepiness, which can affect daily performance such as finding it hard to concentrate or being irritable.

Charli Davies, CEO of Snuzzze said:

“When we think about social media and how it affects our sleep quality we usually jump straight to the blue light exposure and the impact this has on our ability to get to sleep however the stimulation and stress that social media can cause can have a much more profound affect than the blue light especially over a long period of time.”

“Sleep can be deeply affected by stress and mental stimulation and social media provides both in abundance. Scrolling not only keeps us mentally stimulated and so takes time for our brains to calm enough to fall asleep, the stress and anxiety from the content we’re looking at also plays a part.”

“Whether distressing images in the news or from personal comparison, in the long-term this can have very real and negative effects on our mental health and thus our ability to sleep well.”

“Add this to how easy it is to fall down a social media hole and before we know if it’s been hours, and the time we had to sleep has been reduced significantly. This can over time lead to chronic sleep deprivation which can affect our mood, the decision we make, our memory, ability to concentrate; generally, our ability to function at our best and our overall health.”

Sleeping with wet hair

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