Facebook usage increases with sleep deprivation, says study

Adam Westlake - Feb 7, 2016
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Facebook usage increases with sleep deprivation, says study

Is your amount of Facebook usage going up recently? It might be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Researchers at the University of California Irvine have conducted a study recently that shows a direct connection between sleep deprivation and spending more time on Facebook. Now, this isn’t the same as frequently being on Facebook leading to poor sleep patterns, but rather the opposite.

There have already been a number of studies, including one last week from the University of Pittsburgh, that show how those who spend the most time on social networks like Facebook are much more likely to have trouble sleeping. Instead, UC Irvine has looked into how getting less sleep leads to being fatigued, which in turn increases distraction levels, and that results in more Facebook.

“If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired,” said Gloria Mark, the lead researcher on the study and informatics professor at UC Irvine.

Your Facebook friends don’t really care about you

The study focused on students’ smartphone usage, sleep surveys, and mood checks, finding that when chronic fatigue developed, so did bad moods, increased time with IT, and more frequent switching between apps or tasks.

The researchers are planning to present their findings at a conference in May, but it’s already easy to see how the two different studies are connected and can reinforce sleep deprivation and poor Facebook usage. When someone doesn’t get enough sleep, they are more easily distracted and turn to Facebook more easily. But then spending an increased time on Facebook leads to even worse sleep patterns.

It’s not that Facebook specifically is to blame, the site is simply this day and age’s biggest time-waster. Instead, the root of the problem probably lies in too much smartphone usage before bed. It’s already been proven that mobile devices’ blue light makes it harder to fall asleep. The real solution probably lies in getting people to change their habits, such as phone usage at least 30 minutes before bed.

SOURCE Science Daily


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