Girl lying on bed at night and using a mobile phone
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Children may be losing the equivalent of one night’s sleep a week from social media use, a study suggests.
Almost 70% of the children surveyed were spending four or more hours on social media every day.
12.5% of the children surveyed were waking up in the night to check notifications.
Children under 12 may be losing the equivalent of one night’s sleep every week due to excessive social media use, a new study suggests.
Almost 70% of the 60 children under 12 surveyed by De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, said they used social media for four hours a day or more. Two thirds said they used social media apps in the two hours before going to bed.
The study also found that 12.5% of the children surveyed were waking up in the night to check their notifications.
Psychology lecturer John Shaw, who headed up the study, said children were supposed to sleep for between nine to 11 hours a night, per NHS guidelines, but those surveyed reported sleeping an average of 8.7 hours nightly.
He said: “The fear of missing out, which is driven by social media, is directly affecting their sleep. They want to know what their friends are doing, and if you’re not online when something is happening, it means you’re not taking part in it.
“And it can be a feedback loop. If you are anxious you are more likely to be on social media, you are more anxious as a result of that. And you’re looking at something, that’s stimulating and delaying sleep.”
TikTok had the most engagement from the children, with 90% of those surveyed saying they used the app. Snapchat was used by 84%, while just over half those surveyed said they used Instagram.
In California, lawmakers are seeking to mitigate some of the negative effects social media can have on young children.
The state recently passed a law aimed at targeting some of the more damaging features used by the apps. It prohibits social media apps from purposely designing features that are detrimental to kids’ well-being, according to a factsheet.
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Source:: Business Insider