Study Finds That if You Spend More Than an Hour a Day on Social Media, You’re Probably Not Sleeping Well

By Renee Jacques, Allure


Photo: Horst P. Horst/Vogue

I don’t even need to ask if you fall asleep every night checking Instagram, because I know you do. And while you may consider the glare of your iPhone screen a virtual lullaby, it’s not exactly putting you into REM.

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that the more time young people spend on social media, the less good-quality sleep they get. The study recruited 1,778 Americans, age 19 to 32, and asked them about how much time they spend on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, and LinkedIn. They found that people spend an average of 61 minutes a day on social media and visited various platforms about 30 times a week. Close to 30 percent of the participants also reported high levels of sleep disturbance.

Brian A. Primack, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a senior author of the study, stressed in the press release that more research is needed to determine whether using social media contributes to sleep disturbance or whether sleep disturbance leaves people with more time to spend on social media. “Difficulty sleeping may lead to increased use of social media, which may in turn lead to more problems sleeping. This cycle may be particularly problematic with social media because many forms involve interactive screen time that is stimulating and rewarding and, therefore, potentially detrimental to sleep,” he says.

You’ve no doubt heard it before, but if your sleep is suffering, try not to take your phone with you to bed. Instead, you should try these Allure-approved sleep aids to help you get a full night. My personal favorite is the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. The calming scent of lavender and chamomile will wind you down much better than looking at pictures of your high-school best friend’s new baby on Facebook.

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