If you find yourself on Facebook many times each day, it may be a sign, you’re not getting enough sleep.
A recent study at the University of California, Irvine indicated that sleep deprivation can lead to more frequent online activities such as interacting with Facebook.
Lead researcher Gloria Mark, a UC Irvine informatics professor, concludes that sleep deprivation often leads to a shorter attention span. And if you are distracted, you are going to choose an outlet that’s easy to get to – like Facebook.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
If you read this newsletter with any frequency, or any health-related publication for that matter, you know the crucial importance of a good night’s sleep, and what can happen when you don’t get it. Here’s just one hazard – the effect lack of sleep has on your genes. Watch this video from three years ago about a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers at the U.K.’s University of Surrey found a disturbing relationship between sleep and gene mutation…
A Different Approach to the Research
Rather than looking at the effects of computer usage on sleep, the UC Irvine folks took the opposite approach to measure the effects of sleeplessness on the use of computers (and cell phones and the like).
For a full week, 76 undergraduate students – 34 men and 42 – were measured using sophisticated sensors that recorded information on their behaviora, activities and levels of stress. Researchers were able to measure what they did on their phones and computers. They also completed a sleep survey each morning and evening. Behavioral interviews were given to the students, measuring mood and other factors.
“Sleep debt”, or the difference between amount the of sleep needed and the amount of sleep actually achieved, was key to the study.
The results demonstrated a direct correlation amongst the factors of chronic sleeplessness, depressed mood and a greater usage of Facebook and other sites/apps. The less the students slept, the more they shifted from screen to screen.
Which came first?…
It would appear that people can get caught in an endless spiral of sleeplessness and distracted behavior. We have read numerous studies that staring at bright screens before bed makes it harder to fall asleep. Now we know that lack of sleep, in turn, makes us want to check Facebook obsessively. It’s up to us to break the cycle, for ourselves and our children.
Now get some sleep!
Source: UCI News