Nighttime Social Media

Decent Essays
What’s the price we pay for scrolling through our social media accounts at all hours of the night? According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [], approximately 60 million Americans endure some form of disordered sleep in their lifetime. Although there are numerous reasons a person may encounter poor sleep, a growing area of research is shedding some light on the way nighttime social media usage (sometimes referred to as nocturnal smartphone usage) negatively affects the quality and quantity of sleep we are getting. Sleep has been a lifelong challenge for Michigan resident, Karen Whitsett, who sometimes lies in bed for hours or…show more content…
Our phones and tablets emit blue light, which blocks the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, and it signals our bodies to stay awake; even a dim glow can alter our circadian rhythm. Additionally, findings in a recent article in PLOS [] indicate people who spend a significant amount of time using their smartphones at bedtime experience both a lesser quality of sleep and a reduced duration. In reality, our attempts to wind down using social media may leave us stimulated–the exact opposite of the peaceful slumber most of us are trying to…show more content…
Goldsmith struggles to keep a consistent sleep schedule and get sufficient, refreshing sleep. “I find myself on my phone a lot on nights when I don't have to be up early for work the next day,” she said. “ I will lay on the couch or in bed for hours just scrolling through social media. I'm often tired and ready to go to sleep, but for some reason, I just decide to lay there and scroll rather than go to sleep.” These studies present a compelling case to suggest our social media habits are likely causing us to lose at least some of our precious shuteye and may contribute to sleep problems. However, additional research is needed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the impact social media has on our sleep over a longer period of time. For now, if you’re looking for ways to maximize your restorative sleep, experts advise refraining from social media use at least one hour before bed–bonus points if you charge your device in a separate room altogether. While it’s tempting to click on that funny Facebook video of the panda eating a popsicle when you’re in bed, researchers say don’t do
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