Social media at bedtime linked to poor sleep and poor mental health for teens September 29, 2015 Teenagers with high social media use at bedtime suffer disturbed sleep, which in turn leads to depressed mood, according to new research from a Murdoch University PhD candidate. Lynette Vernon, who will present on her findings at the Australian Psychological Society’s 50th Annual Conference on the Gold Coast this week, said the research followed teenagers over a four-year period and found a strong relationship between high social media use, sleep disturbance and increased depressed mood. “Poor sleep can result in students feeling tired and moody, with feelings of sadness and declines in long-term wellbeing,” said Ms Vernon. She added that many adolescents were using social networking sites as a way to feel good. “Investing in social media for some teenagers improves the way they feel. But overuse disturbs their sleep and leads to tired, moody students who then invest further into their online connections to help them feel good,” she said. Her research is part of the Youth Activity Participation Study (YAPS) of Western Australia, a nine-year longitudinal study of over 1800 WA young people and their leisure pursuits. It seeks to understand how experiences in sport, performing arts, or social networking can facilitate positive development or exacerbate health risks. Ms Vernon recorded the social media activities of the more than 1800 adolescents for four years from 2010 to 2014, and each year analysed their sleep quality and their mood, including feelings about things to look forward to, whether difficulties were piling up and how unhappy or depressed they felt. She said data obtained on social media use included posting on or looking through social networking sites and rating how invested teenagers were in connecting with their network of friends online. “We also looked at whether the teenagers got into arguments about the time they spent on social media and whether they felt moody and irritable if they couldn’t logon to their social networking sites,” said Ms Vernon. She said the results highlighted the important role that parents could play in teaching their children to kerb their social media use. “Many parents encourage young children to develop good rituals for bedtime but this study shows that rituals could also be reinforced during the teenage years,” added Ms Vernon. The study was funded by the Australian Research Council in collaboration with Griffith University. Print This Post Media contact: Jo Manning Tel: (08) 9360 2474 | Mobile: 0408 201 309 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Research, Health, biomedicine and psychology, School of Psychology and Exercise Science Research Tags: aps conference, australian research council, griffith university, lynette vernon, psychological impact social media, social media, social media teens, teen depression, yaps, youth activity participation study of western australia Comments (One response) ReKonnectKids October 29, 2015 Great to see awareness of this link growing. Kids, teens and their parents need to be warned of the dangers Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!