The list of things potentially interfering with your restful night's sleep is seemingly endless. And it feels like there's another harmful activity added to the list every day, and today is no different. Well, actually, today is a little different. The newest no-no to be added to the why-you-can't-sleep list is going to hurt… It's social media. That's right; your second favorite pastime is getting in the way of your all-time favorite. Back in the day (i.e., a few years ago), sleep researchers were concerned about the blue light emitted from our computers and how that artificial light disrupted our natural circadian rhythm. So we all reluctantly shut our computers at an appropriate hour in hopes of getting our much-deserved beauty sleep. But when one millennial shuts a computer, another opens her phone.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studied adults ages 19 to 32 and found that participants spent an average of 61 minutes per day on social media. The study also found that 30% experienced some sort of sleep disturbance. Those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were three times more likely to report trouble sleeping, compared to those who checked their accounts least frequently. Additionally, those who spent the most time on social media daily had twice the risk of sleep disturbance, compared to participants who spent the least amount of time. The results suggest that it's not the amount of time spent on social media so much as the number of times you check in with your accounts throughout the day that has the biggest impact on your sleep.
What can you do? Rather than leaving your phone at home, try to find something else to occupy your time (and hands) during moments of boredom. Get up and take a lap around the block, or reorganize your desk. Little tasks like these can be just as satisfying as refreshing Instagram. At night, leave your phone on the other side of the room, out of arm's reach. Bonus: Getting up to turn your alarm off in the morning all but ensures you don't snooze through your a.m. workout. And create an environment conducive to sleep—quiet, cool, and dark. We recommend keeping Slip's Pure Silk Sleep Mask ($39) on hand to block out any and all light sources.
Did this statistic surprise you? Can you estimate about how much time you spend on social media daily? Tell us below!