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One in five young people lose sleep over social media

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Guest Nicole

Date:

January 16, 2017

Source:

Taylor & Francis

Summary:

One in five young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing.

1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research published today in the Journal of Youth Studies. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing.

Over 900 pupils, aged between 12-15 years, were recruited and asked to complete a questionnaire about how often they woke up at night to use social media and times of going to bed and waking. They were also asked about how happy they were with various aspects of their life including school life, friendships and appearance.

1 in 5 reported 'almost always' waking up to log on, with girls much more likely to access their social media accounts during the night than boys. Those who woke up to use social media nearly every night, or who didn't wake up at a regular time in the morning, were around three times as likely to say they were constantly tired at school compared to their peers who never log on at night or wake up at the same time every day. Moreover, pupils who said they were always tired at school were, on average, significantly less happy than other young people.

"Our research shows that a small but significant number of children and young people say that they often go to school feeling tired -- and these are the same young people who also have the lowest levels of wellbeing. One in five young people questioned woke up every night and over one third wake-up at least once a week to check for messages. Use of social media appears to be invading the 'sanctuary' of the bedroom." Said author Professor Sally Power, Co-Director (Cardiff) Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD).

The study findings support growing concerns about young people's night-time use of social media. However, because of the complex range of possible explanations for tiredness at school, further larger studies will be needed before any firm conclusions can be made about the social causes and consequences of sleep deprivation among today's youth.

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      By Guest Nicole
      Start Your Day With an Omega-Rich Breakfast
      Want to sleep well? Start your day with omega-3s! These healthy fats lower anxiety and help your body produce the hormones you need to sleep at night. Get your daily dose by adding a couple tablespoons of chia seeds, flaxseeds orwalnuts to your breakfast. Aim for 600 mg or about four tablespoons of flaxseeds a day. 

      Limit Your Caffeine Intake
      Coffee is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, but drinking it in the afternoon can wreak havoc on your sleep. While a little caffeine is good for you, it can linger in your system for hours and keep you up long after your last cup. Protect your sleep by avoiding caffeinated drinks after 2 p.m. 

      Set a Kitchen Curfew
      While heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime may make you feel drowsy, they actually undermine your sleep by stimulating you late at night. Instead of snoozing soundly, you'll wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time getting back to sleep. Avoid this by setting a kitchen curfew! Close the kitchen at 7 p.m. and stop snacking. 

      Keep Your Bedroom Cool
      Research shows that insomniacs have a warmer core body temperature than normal sleepers. You can’t maintain your sleep if you’re too hot, so cool down by keeping your bedroom between 65 and 67 degrees.

      Replace Pills with Progressive Muscle Relaxation
      Skip sleeping pills! While they may seem like a smart idea at the time, they can cause dependency, prolonged drowsiness and overeating. Instead, opt for an all-natural sleep-better solution: progressive muscle relaxation. Systematically tensing and relaxing your muscles signals to your brain it's time to go to sleep and helps distract you from anxieties that may be keeping you up. For beginners, try listening to this guided muscle relaxation from sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus. 

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Frequent social media use is correlated with a higher risk of eating disorders and negative body image, according to a new study based on a survey of young adults conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. As always, it’s worth noting that correlation doesn’t equal causation, and a number of different explanations are possible – but the findings are certainly food for thought for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals who work with teens and young adults around these issues.T
      The study, titled “The Association between Social Media Use and Eating Concerns among US Young Adults” and published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,” surveyed 1,765 adults ages 19-32 with questionnaires about their use of social platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.
      The authors then cross-referenced these results with data gathered by another questionnaire used to determine the risk of eating disorders in individuals, including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder as well as distorted body image and other types of eating disorder.
      Respondents who spent more time on social media were over twice as likely (2.2 times) to report factors putting them at risk of eating disorders or distorted body image, when compared with respondents who spent less time. Meanwhile, frequency of check-ins were even more closely correlated with these risk factors, with respondents who checked in most often 2.6 times as those who checked in least often to have risk factors.
      The correlation was seen across categories including gender, age, race, and income, suggesting that it is a broad-based phenomenon. However, as noted above it’s unclear whether social media usage is causing eating disorders, or if (for example) people with eating disorders gravitate to social media for emotional support. People with eating disorders may also use social media for a different kind of emotional support, seeking out groups that encourage eating disorders, like the notorious “pro-ana” sites and “thinspo” forums – another scenario where social media works to enable a pre-existing condition.
      Nonetheless, one obvious interpretation is that heavy usage of social media, with its increasingly visual content and emphasis on idealized images, is in fact causing or exacerbating eating disorders.
      On that note lead author Jaime E. Sidani stated: “We’ve long known that exposure to traditional forms of media, such as fashion magazines and television, is associated with the development of disordered eating and body image concerns, likely due to the positive portrayal of ‘thin’ models and celebrities. Social media combines many of the visual aspects of traditional media with the opportunity for social media users to interact and propagate stereotypes that can lead to eating and body image concerns.”
      Source: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/275692/social-media-linked-to-eating-disorders.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline&utm_campaign=92887
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      MONDAY, April 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In news that's sure to have mothers everywhere saying, "I told you so," scientists have confirmed that a good night's sleep may keep colds and other infections at bay.
      The odds that someone who sleeps five or fewer hours a night had caught a cold in the past month were 28 percent higher than for folks who regularly get more shuteye, the study found.
      And for other infections -- including flu, ear infections and pneumonia -- short sleepers had more than 80 percent higher odds of having an infection in the past month compared to those sleeping seven or eight hours, the study said.
      "People who sleep five or fewer hours on average are at substantially increased risk for both colds whether head or chest or other infections, compared to people who sleep seven to eight hours on average," said study researcher Aric Prather. He's an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.
      The researchers also found that people who have sleep disorders or those who have ever told their physician that they have sleep troubles had about 30 percent higher odds of having had a cold in the previous month. The odds of infection in the past month for people with sleep disorders were more than doubled, the study said.
      Experts cannot say for sure why lack of sleep helps increase susceptibility to infections. However, Prather said, it is known that T-cells, a type of white blood cells that fight off infection, don't work as well when you are sleep-deprived.
      The new study builds on Prather's previous work. In a past study, he exposed people to a cold virus and found there was a link between sleep duration and the risk of catching a cold.
      In the current study, he wanted to see if real-world data would back up those findings. However, Prather noted that this study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
      Prather used data from the large U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys (NHANES) from 2005 to 2012. He examined records of nearly 23,000 men and women, average age 46. The study volunteers reported sleep duration, if they had sleep problems or disorders, and whether they had a cold or other infection such as the flu, pneumonia or ear infection in the previous month.
      The findings were published as a letter April 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
      The new research echoes some findings of previous studies, said Sheldon Cohen, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. Cohen has previously studied sleep habits and susceptibility to colds. "We found that seven hours is about the breaking point," he said. "People who got less than seven hours were at greater risk, basically."
      When many studies are examined, "the consistency across studies really does suggest that sleep is playing a role [in susceptibility to colds]," Cohen said. "Whether it is because sleep maintains a strong immune system, we can't say for sure at this point."
      Other factors, such as lack of exercise, could help explain it, he said. Even so, "the data suggest that sleep may be altering the immune function in some way," with sufficient sleep helping it.
      People can become better sleepers, Prather said. Getting up at the same time every day is a start, he said. "Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and dark," he advised. "Have a wind-down period [before going to sleep]."
      More information
      To learn more about good sleep habits, visit the National Sleep Foundation.
      SOURCES: Aric Prather, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; April 11, 2016, JAMA Internal Medicine, online
      Last Updated: Apr 11, 2016
       
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