Snapchat users are the most sleep-deprived, according to a new study that looks at the relationship between different social-media networks and quality of sleep
New research by the bedmaker Silentnight found that Snapchat users were the most at risk of sleep deprivation, with 68 per cent of respondents who used the application reporting that "the platform prevented them from sleeping". The survey, which included more than 2,000 UK residents, discovered that Instagram users were the second most likely to have their sleep interrupted by social media, (62 per cent) – with Twitter and Facebook coming in third and fourth respectively.
In further worrying news, 40 per cent of participants claimed to be addicted to social media, with individuals checking their channels an average of eight times a day, for at least a total of three hours. More seriously, 20 per cent of respondents admitted "to dreaming about social media", while many users of Snapchat and half of those with Instagram accounts said they "woke up in the night to check their feeds" – adding to their risk of becoming sleep-deprived.
Silentnight's sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan believes the data exposes the UK's increasingly image-focused culture and the growing pressure not to miss out, especially as 43 per cent of the biggest users of the networks, those aged between 16–24, said they have "never gone a day without social media".
While frequent social-media engagement may now be the norm, Dr Ramlakhan stresses that the impact on our health needs to be better addressed. "It's proven that the blue light from [technology] wakes up the brain, making it difficult to wind down and fall asleep. So punctuating the night with social-media checks is a recipe for disaster if you want to sleep well."
The research did reveal that the benefits of a digital detox are acknowledged by social-media users, as 27 per cent of respondents said they felt "calmer" after a break from the platforms. While stopping all use of the applications is unlikely, Dr Ramlakhan suggests trying to limit the effect it has on your bedtime routine by "stopping scrolling through social media 60–90 minutes before bedtime. It will allow your brain to wind down and lead to deeper, more restorative sleep."
Via Harper's Bazaar UK