How can using social media affect my teen's sleep habits?

Social media is still relatively new in our culture, but there is already evidence that it interferes with teens’ sleep habits. A large-scale study by the Kaiser Family Foundation painted a stark picture of overall electronic media use by adolescents. They found that teens spent 53 hours per week engaged with some form of electronic media. That’s more than 7 hours per day. And this figure doesn’t even include the daily 90 minutes of texting researchers attributed, on average, to teens! They also found that teens’ daily consumption of social media was on the rise, with mobile media increasing at the fastest rate.

  • Another study indicates that teens who text and use the Internet are more likely to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep and have more difficult mood swings during the day.
  • Research shows that social networks actually help to influence sleep habits among “friends” in shared and overlapping networks. They also found similar influence toward drug use with teens who share extended social networks.
  • And a rising phenomenon, texting during sleep, is not only going to be disruptive to the teen who is texting, but also to the teen who is receiving a message -- and a beeping cell phone -- in the middle of the night.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.