By Sean Weston.
Teenagers that use social media for more than three hours a day are more likely to go to bed after 11 pm and wake up during the night.
This is according to a report from BMJ Open that gathered data from UK adolescents as part of the Millennium Cohort Study.
Teenagers who were very high social-media users (five hours or more per day) were around 70% more likely than average users (one to three hours) to fall asleep late on school nights and after midnight on other days.
One third said they used social media for less than an hour a day while the average was between one and three hours. These groups were least likely to fall asleep late.
Girls were twice as likely as boys to spend more than five hours on social media – and girls also had more disrupted sleep.
According to doctors, sleep is already in short supply due to the hormonal changes taking place at this age.
Dr Max Davie, from the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, said good quality sleep was vital for children and young people.
They said: “We recommend that young people stay off all screens for at least an hour before bed so their brains have time to wind down.
“Lack of sleep can have a significant negative impact not only on young people’s wellbeing but on their relationships with family and friends and in terms of reaching their full potential at school.
Dr Holly Scott, from the school of psychology at Glasgow University said: “Teenagers may be lying awake because they are not ready to fall asleep and then struggling to disengage from social media because they don’t want to miss out.”
BMJ Open Report: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/9/9/e031161.full.pdf