A study examining the relationship between the use of social media and sleep quality has revealed that Londoners are the most addicted to social media.
The research, by bed maker Silentnight, which surveyed more than 2,000 UK residents, found that 49 per cent of Londoners describe themselves as being addicted to social media, and 28 per cent never go a day without logging in.
Perhaps most concerning is the impact this social media use is having on Londoners’ sleep, with 40 per cent of people from the capital saying they wake up in the night to check their phones or tablets and 43 per cent claiming that social media distracts or prevents them from sleeping.
Dr Nerina said: “Social networks are definitely causing a heightened feeling of FOMO, particularly with the younger generation who are so used to seeing their social lives played out online and often rely on validation from likes and shares. It’s very tempting to repeatedly check social media and It’s easy to see why this habit is creeping into bedtime routines.”
The findings also paint a worrying picture of people’s habits nationally, and with recent research from the bed manufacturer and the University of Leeds revealing that 30 per cent of Brits would rate their sleep as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’, and 25 per cent saying they only sleep for five hours or less per night – it’s clear social media may have a lot to answer for.
Calling for greater awareness of its impact, Dr Nerina said: “It’s quite concerning to see just how much people are using social media at night time. The impact on sleep is particularly worrying. “It’s proven that the blue light from phones and tablets wakes up the brain making it difficult to wind down and fall asleep. So punctuating the night with social media checks is a recipe for disaster if you want to sleep well.
While it’s clear we shouldn’t banish tech altogether, Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina believes there is a balance to be struck.
“It’s unrealistic to completely ban mobile devices from the bedroom, but people need to be more aware of the impact they are having to achieve a better tech-life balance. As a sleep deprived nation we’d do well to limit the amount of time we are spending on social media. Try to stop scrolling through social media 60-90 minutes before bedtime. This will allow you brain to wind down and lead to deeper, more restorative sleep. ”
Nationally Silentnight’s research found that 25 per cent of Brits never go a day without logging on, so it was surprising to discover that Brits did acknowledge the benefits of a digital detox, with 27 per cent claiming they felt ‘calmer’ after taking a break from social media.