Sleep Disorders

Updated 19 February 2016

Sleepless nights may fuel daytime Facebook binges

Researchers found that less sleep was linked to more distracted behaviour and computer browsing on websites like Facebook.

0

Lack of sleep may be the reason you spend so much time on Facebook during the day, new research suggest.

The study authors tracked 76 university undergrads for seven days and found that too little sleep was linked to more frequent online activities such as browsing Facebook.

"When you get less sleep, you're more prone to distraction," lead researcher Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, said in a university news release. "If you're being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It's lightweight, it's easy and you're tired."

Read: 7 causes of insomnia 

"There have been lots of studies on how information technology affects sleep. We did the opposite: We looked at how sleep duration influences IT usage," Mark said.

The study found a direct link between long-term lack of sleep, a decline in mood and increased Facebook browsing. It also found that the less sleep people get, the more their attention shifts between different computer screens, suggesting they're more easily distracted.

Read: New guidelines to ease insomnia

But the researchers only found an association between amount of sleep and daytime online activities, without proving cause and effect.

Mark expects to present the findings at the ACM Computer-Human Interaction Conference in San Jose, California, in May. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Read more: 

6 signs you're a Facebook addict 

How too little sleep and a bad diet can affect your health 

6 ways to prevent insomnia 

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 

Ask the Expert

Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules