Experts warn Snapchat users of mobile app addiction
How snapping can lead us to being sleep deprived
A recent study found that users of the popular mobile app could be getting as little as five hours of sleep every night. Seven out of ten subscribers claim they regularly wake up in the night to check their ‘snaps’. Researchers, commissioned by bed maker Silentnight say Snapchat, where ‘stories’ vanish after 24 hours, is the social media platform that is most likely to cause sleep deprivation. The study showed that 68% of Snapchat users suffered from sleep deprivation.
43% of 16-24 year olds admitted to never going a day without social media due to the ‘Fear of missing out’ culture known as FOMO.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan of Silentnight said: “Social networks are definitely causing a heightened feeling of FOMO, particularly with the younger generation who are so used to seeing their social lives played out online and often rely on validation from likes and shares.With Snapchat in particular, snaps are only there for 24 hours and then they are gone, making it all the more tempting to keep checking the app so you are not to miss out. It’s easy to see why this habit is creeping into bedtime routines.”
The research also found that 25% of users could never go a day without logging on. We also asked students how many times they use the app and how long they spend at night on Snapchat. We asked university students how long they could last without using social media.
Sandy, Birmingham City University student
“I definitely couldn’t last a day, let alone a week. I use the app for around 2-3 hours every nights because I normally have trouble falling asleep.”
Hanifa Kamal, Media and journalism student Birmingham City University
“I could last a week without it but it would be difficult. I use the app around 2-4 hours at night and probably use the app around 20 times during the day.”
Sanjot, Aston University Student
“I probably could last a week without using it. I regularly check it throughout the day and use the app to reply to my friends at night, but I don’t use it for very long.”
However people have already had a change of heart about Snapchat and its side effects.
Kate Spree, UoB student
“I quite often have trouble sleeping and do quite regularly update my own snapchat and check other people’s at least once a day. After hearing it affects your sleep I deleted the app immediately. Sleep over snaps always.”
Dr Nerina added: “It’s quite concerning to see just how much people are using social media at night time. The impact on sleep is particularly concerning. It’s proven that the blue light from phones and tablets wakes up the brain, making it difficult to wind down and fall asleep. So punctuating the night with social media checks is a recipe for disaster if you want to sleep well.”
So beware millennials because our most sacred devices are having a big impact on our even more beloved pastime – sleep. In future Dr Nerina suggests that people should “stop scrolling through social media 60-90 minutes before bedtime. This will allow you brain to wind down and lead to deeper, more restorative sleep.”