Is Facebook Affecting Your Sleep?

American Ballet Theatre’s Hee Seo in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Fabrizio Ferri.

You already know how essential it is to get enough sleep—and how a night spent tossing and turning can affect everything from the amount of energy you'll have at barre the next morning to your anxiety levels and your appetite. The latest information about getting a good night's rest may be related to dialing down your digital habits throughout the day. A new study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that frequent social media use may disrupt sleep.

The study measured sleep disturbances in a group of over 1,700 young adults, ages 19 to 32, and had them fill out questionnaires about their social media use. Researchers looked at how much time each person spent on popular social media sites per day and how often they logged in during the week.

Nearly 30 percent of participants had high levels of sleep disturbance. But the ones who logged into social media most frequently were three times more likely to have trouble sleeping, while those who spent the most total time online were twice as likely to have trouble. This suggests that it's not necessarily about how much time you spend browsing Facebook overall. Checking social media repeatedly seemed more disruptive to participants' sleep.

More research still needs to be done to determine the relationship between sleep and social media use, but it makes sense that constantly checking in could make it harder to wind down at night. Instead of scanning Instagram between every class and rehearsal, try choosing a couple times each day to scroll through messages or post photos. It may also help you stay more engaged with what's most important: dancing.

 

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