New study links Social Networking use to anxiety and poor sleep in teens

According to the findings of a new study, the pressure of being available on social media 24/7 might increase teens’ risk of developing depression and anxiety and can make their sleep quality even poorer.

During the said study, researchers interviewed a total of 467 teenagers, who were between the age of 11 and 17 years. The teens were questioned about their habit of using social media at night and during the daytime.

The interviews were followed by tests, during which the researchers checked the participants for depression, anxiety and gathered information on their self-esteem and sleep quality after a teen used common Facebook slang words. They also conducted tests to find out whether the teens felt the pressure of being available on social media 24/7 and if yes, then to what extent.

The results of these tests revealed that social media use was significantly linked to worsened sleep quality, increased depression levels and anxiety, and lower self-esteem among teens who took part in the study.

Heather Cleland Woods, the author of the study, noted that the sleep quality of individuals who have the habit of logging on at night appeared to be particularly affected. Cleland Woods represents the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

According to Cleland Woods, kids become more vulnerable to anxiety and depression during their teenage years and poor sleep quality might contribute significantly to the chances of developing these conditions. She added that studies are increasingly indicating that there’s a strong link between social media use and the overall feeling of well-being, specifically in adolescents.

For instance, a previous study presented at a meeting of the American Psychological Association in 2011 suggested that there’s link between social media use in teens and traits of depression and schizophrenia. Another study published earlier this year in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking suggested that frequent use of social media is responsible for increasing mental health issues among teens.

Researchers conducting this new study have written that as adolescence is known for being a vulnerable phase for developing long-term mental health problems, it is extremely important for us to comprehend how social media use among adolescents is related to factors such as chances of having depression and sleep quality.

The findings of the new study were presented at the annual conference of the BPS Developmental & Social Psychology Section in England on September 11.