Young people 'frequently losing sleep due to social media'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

A large proportion of young people are losing sleep due to an unhealthy relationship with social media, according to new research.

Conducted by Welsh researchers and published in the Journal of Youth Studies, the study polled 900 pupils aged between 12 and 15 years of age about how often they woke up at night to use social media, as well as the times they went to bed and woke up.

“One in five young people are losing sleep over social media, according to a new study.“

One in five said they almost always woke up to access their social media accounts during the night, with girls more likely to do so than boys. Those who did this, or who did not arise at a regular time each morning, were around three times as likely to be constantly tired at school.

Moreover, pupils who said they were always tired at school were significantly less happy than others. Further studies will now be needed before firm conclusions can be made about the social causes and consequences of sleep deprivation in young people.

Professor Sally Power, co-director of the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods, said: "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."

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