Social media has been on the rise ever since its emergence, and today it just became an essential part of our days. No matter what you do or where you are, the temptation of taking your phone out and scrolling through the news feed is quite strong. Recent studies have repeatedly stated that, despite its significant advantages, social media has highly contributed to many of today’s mental disorders.

Sleep deprivation happens to be among the adverse effects that result from the constant use of social media. Given that it has an addictive nature, people of all generations have become glued to their phones even when exhausted and lying in bed. This has consequently disrupted the sleep cycle, resulting in a rise in the number of people suffering from sleep deprivation. 

Social media and sleep deprivation have somehow become synonymous, and many addicted users would lose their sleep over being updated on what’s happening in the world. Staying in the loop is one aspect of curiosity, but it crosses the line when it turns into a real fear of missing out, commonly known as FOMO. 

Allow us to introduce you to the recent statistics linking social media and sleep deprivation:

The Direct Relation Between Social Media and Sleep Deprivation

Observing people glued to their phones, whether inside their own homes or in public, has been an ordinary scene. However, the real struggle here stems not only from the excessive use of social media but also from its negative impact on the quality of sleep. Many users have been accustomed to using social media close to bedtime, which imposes a greater risk of experiencing sleep issues. 

Social Media And Sleep Deprivation

Social media and sleep deprivation have been linked together after statistics have shown that those who spend more than two hours on social media every night are twice as likely to have trouble falling asleep. Even more, they would wake up feeling tired and exhausted. This is quite alarming, given that a staggering number of adolescents today barely put their phones down,

The Impact of Screen Time on the Quality of Sleep

The relation between social media and sleep deprivation lies in the blue light that our screens emit. This light is responsible for tricking our brain into believing it’s still daytime, consequently reducing melatonin production, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Blue light also reduces the chance of our brains winding down and preparing for a restful night.

Scrolling mindlessly through our feeds, oblivious to the ticking clock, eventually leads to staying late and losing valuable hours of sleep. When this habit is nurtured on a daily basis, it makes it more challenging to drift off into the world of dreams. This is even more true when new platforms keep coming out, with Threads being the latest, increasing the chances of exposure to more engaging content that keeps us active and alert.

You may have noticed yourself caught in a viscous loop that never ends, where one post leads to another, and before you know it, hours have already gone by. Plus, the content we are exposed to can have a direct effect on our mental health, causing emotional or mental distractions that, again, can lead to sleep deprivation.

Statistics of Sleep Deprivation Directly Linked to Social Media 

We scroll through our devices for long hours, checking out social media, sending emails, or watching numerous reels and videos. Doing this right before bedtime, you may think it’s pretty harmless, but it can surprisingly deprive you of valuable hours of sleep. For a starter, you’ll find it quite challenging to doze off into a peaceful sleep; even worse waking up will be a seemingly impossible task.

Unfortunately, statistics have shown that this is the norm for a considerable percentage of the world’s popularity. Users of different ages would stare at their phones for hours, unaware of the detrimental effect of blue light on hour sleep. We know it; the allure of scrolling through social media feeds before hitting the hay can be incredibly challenging to resist.

These recent statistics have proven that many adults and teenagers are heavily addicted to social media. It’s also quite evident since there’s rarely an individual in today’s world who is capable of walking around without checking those little screens. There are surprising facts from all over the world that prove how social media and sleep deprivation can go hand in hand. Check out this startling information that extensively links social media and sleep deprivation:

The Most Recent Statistics Connecting the Excessive Use of Social Media and Sleep Deprivation:

  • 60% of the world’s population is heavily on the usage of social media. In fact, the average daily usage for an individual was recorded to be 2 hours and 24 minutes.
  • 70% of people have reported frequently using social media after lying in bed, where 15% of them spend almost an hour, or even more, browsing the internet. This percentage resulted from a poll conducted among hospital employees and university students.
  • Although Gen Z is the generation most dedicated to long hours of social media, a lot of adults, around 38%, have reported spending as many hours, claiming that they believe it’s highly linked to causing mental issues. Only 5% reported that social media has a positive impact.
  • 21% of adults have reported that they wake up in the middle of their sleep to check their phones almost every night. Not only do they wake up feeling fatigued, but many risk losing sleep due to too much blue light exposure.
  • According to a survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, almost 93% of Gen Z have confessed to staying up past their bedtime only to surf the browser or be present and active across different social media platforms.
  • In 2023, people worldwide are spending an average of 151 minutes per day on social media – quite a jump from the 147 minutes logged in the previous year! 
  • The Philippines now holds the crown for the country that spends the most time engrossed in social media daily. Online users in this vibrant nation devote an astonishing average of three hours and 53 minutes to their digital social lives. In stark contrast, our American friends fall slightly behind, with a mere 2 hours and 3 minutes spent on social media daily.
  • When it comes to indulging in social media, South America takes the lead, dedicating an impressive 3 hours and 24 minutes on average. Africa follows closely behind, spending a substantial 3 hours and 10 minutes scrolling through their feeds. 
  • In Asia/Oceania, people devote around 2 hours and 16 minutes to satisfy their digital cravings, while North America falls just behind at 2 hours and 6 minutes. Lastly, Europe seems to have a slightly more restrained approach, with an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes spent on social media.
  • According to recent studies, the up-and-coming generation, Gen Z, dedicates nearly 4.5 hours of their daily lives to social media platforms. Interestingly, their millennial predecessors spend an average of 3.8 hours engaging with the digital realm. 

6 Tips on Improving Sleep Quality and Limiting Social Media Usage

In the realm of adolescence, immersing oneself in social media for over half an hour daily has been associated with a surge in potential threats to one’s mental well-being, including sleep disturbance. We live in a fast-paced technological era, so is there a way that we protect our precious sleep without ditching electronics altogether? Short answer, yes.

There are several other activities in life from which we can find pleasure. Whether it be indulging in the excitement of reading a compelling novel or engaging in stimulating exercises, this precious time allows us to unwind and prepare for a peaceful night.

So, here are some simple tips that can help solve your social media and sleep deprivation problem while giving you a truly restful sleep. 

1. Turn Off Your Devices

One way to enhance your sleep routine is by unplugging your devices at night. Detach yourself entirely from any electronics for at least 30 minutes to an hour before hitting the sack. Implementing this simple habit can significantly improve your ability to relax and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Building little steps will substantially contribute to solving the ongoing social media usage and sleep deprivation crisis.

2. Keep Your Phone in a Separate Room

Sometimes the pull of checking your social media can be hard to resist. One way to combat the allure of aimlessly scrolling through social media or falling into the endless rabbit hole of online distractions is to leave your phone in a different room consciously. 

If you rely on your phone as a morning alarm, maybe it’s time to embrace the nostalgia and simplicity of an actual alarm clock. By reimagining your evenings and mornings without the presence of your phone, you can create a more peaceful and fulfilling start to your day.

3. Activate Limits on Screen Time

make use of the convenient features offered by various devices and applications that enable you to activate personalised limits. These ingenious tools can even notify you when you’ve exceeded your pre-set time allowance on a specific website. It’s a beneficial tool that was probably meant to bridge the gap between social media and sleep deprivation.

That way, you’ll be able to strike a healthy balance between staying connected and optimising your valuable time. It’s time to reclaim control over your online activities with just a simple button click on your phone. You’ll still be able to stay in the loop without falling into the endless scroll trap. 

4. Set A Fixed Nighttime Routine

Nighttime routines have a magical way of easing your mind and putting your senses to rest, so set yourself one. Discover an activity that ignites your anticipation and embrace it. This could be anything from a soothing bath, a refreshing shower, immersing yourself in a captivating book, or even journaling your thoughts. By embracing these tranquil moments, you will effortlessly unwind and bid farewell to the day, preparing yourself for a rejuvenating night’s sleep.

5. Have A Proper Sleep Schedule

Establishing a consistent sleep schedule is crucial for maintaining optimal health. Not only will it solve the issue of excessive usage of social media and sleep deprivation, but it will also help you set your priorities straight. By doing so, you will not only ensure a good night’s rest but also reap the numerous benefits it brings. 

Avoid the temptation of endless scrolling on your devices, as it can be detrimental to your precious sleeping hours. Prioritise your well-being by sticking to your sleep routine and allowing your body and mind to rejuvenate fully.

6. Turn Notifications Off

Take control of your phone habits at night by turning off push notifications and muting the sound, especially if you choose to keep your phone in your bedroom. The incessant pings and alerts from social media and other apps can disturb your sleep and potentially cause sleep problems like daytime sleepiness. By silencing these notifications, you create a calm environment for yourself during the night, reducing the temptation to check for updates or respond to messages constantly. 

Social media undoubtedly provides numerous advantages to staying connected and entertained. On the other hand, mindless scrolling and excessive usage can place social media and sleep deprivation in the same category. So, make sure you’re being mindful of your electronics while protecting your precious sleep by giving yourself the gift of a distraction-free, peaceful night’s rest. 

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