Study links social media usage to sleep deprivation - - Jackson, MS

Study links social media usage to sleep deprivation

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Is social media standing between you and a good night's sleep? A new study suggests it does, particularly among teenagers.

If my house was burning, I'd probably wanna go get my cell phone," Jackson resident Zakia Simpson said.

Fellow smartphone user Lee Morris agrees.

"It's kinda like a security blanket for me," said Morris.

There's no doubt about it. Smartphones are addicting for millions of people. Most use it for one thing: social media.

"I check social media probably every hour, at least every 30 minutes," said Simpson.

New research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests young adults who can't resist refreshing their news feed are more likely to have sleep disturbances than those who don't.

"We like to stay connected. We like breaking news. We have information anxiety. We want to know what's going on and we want to know it the minute that it happens," psychiatrist Dr. Max Gordon said.

Gordon said the constant scrolling and checking makes some feel closer to people.

The flood of notifications coming through tends to keep people awake at night, too, but that's exactly what many crave.

"I guess there's something about hearing notifications. It makes you feel like, 'Oh, somebody's thinking about me. There's something going on,'" Simpson said.

And they do so, Gordon said, at the cost of a good night's sleep.

"I have found myself sometimes needing, I think it's called melatonin, to make me go to sleep at night when before I didn't need that," added Simpson.

Even knowing that, Morris said he doesn't plan on changing his habits.

"I think the benefits outweigh this better sleep. I like to stay more connected," added Morris.

Gordon said sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of stress, possibly depression.

According to data he has reviewed, teenage girls tend to be most susceptible to social media addiction.

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