Social media-related lack of sleep leads to depression

A lack of sleep among teenagers who are spending hours at night on social media can cause depression and anxiety, according to a study.

Scientists measured the sleep quality and social media use of 467 teenagers and found that pressure to be available online 24 hours a day and respond to messages impacted on mental health issues.

Analysis showed that overall and night-time specific social media use, along with emotional investment in social media, were related to poorer sleep quality, lower self-esteem as well as higher anxiety and depression levels.

Led by Heather Cleland Woods of the University of Glasgow, the study suggests parents should ensure children “switch off” at night.

The study is being presented at the British Psychological Society conference in Manchester. Dr Woods said: “Adolescence can be a period of increased vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety, and poor sleep quality may contribute to this.

“It is important that we understand how social media use relates to these. Evidence is increasingly supporting a link between social media use and wellbeing, particularly during adolescence, but the causes of this are unclear.

“While overall social media use impacts on sleep quality, those who log on at night appear to be particularly affected. This may be mostly true of individuals who are highly emotionally invested.

“This means we have to think about how our kids use social media, in relation to time for switching off.”

More on this topic

Study finds Ireland's young women are most depressed in EUStudy finds Ireland's young women are most depressed in EU

Personality types susceptible to depression pinpointed by scientistsPersonality types susceptible to depression pinpointed by scientists

Children to be offered depression therapy via smartphonesChildren to be offered depression therapy via smartphones

Study finds link between vitamin D deficiency and depressionStudy finds link between vitamin D deficiency and depression


Lifestyle

These green pancakes are topped with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese.How to make Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes

Who else can pull off a look described as a ‘hip-hop Michelin woman’?As her new EP drops, this is why there will never be a style icon quite like Missy Elliott

The classic white-tipped look is once again in favour, and celebs are loving it.The French manicure is back – 5 modern ways to try the trend

The A-Listers hiding in plain sight: As Rihanna is spotted at the cricket, who are the celebs who have been living under our noses in Ireland? Ed Power reports.Celebs in plain sight: The A-Listers living under our noses in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner