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Elementary school kids lose one full night’s sleep a week due to staying up late on social media sites, study finds
- Ten-year-olds are advised to sleep nine to twelve hours a night
- Research found that those who use more social media sleep worse
- This age group now sleeps on average only 8.7 hours a night
Young students miss the equivalent of one full night of sleep a week, and the worse they sleep the more time they spend on social media.
Ten-year-olds are recommended to get nine to 12 hours of sleep per night, with less sleep being linked to poor school performance and risky behavior.
But one study found that 10-year-olds who use more social media sleep worse, and that this age group now only gets an average of 8.7 hours of sleep per night.
Added up over a full week, that’s the equivalent of a full night of missed sleep.
Ten-year-olds who use more social media sleep worse – this age group now only gets an average of 8.7 hours of sleep per night
How much sleep do children need?
According to the NHSare the recommended sleep times:
- Babies from 4 to 12 months old: 12 to 4 p.m. including naps
- Toddlers from 1 to 2 years: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. including naps
- Children from 3 to 5 years: 10am to 1pm including naps
- Children from 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 o’clock
- Teens from 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours
The study, which is the first to look at social media, sleep and fear of missing out in young “pre-teen” children, found that one in eight use social media during the night when they should be sleeping.
dr. John Shaw, of De Montfort University, who presented the research at the British Science Festival in Leicester, said: ‘We found that 69 per cent of children said they spend more than four hours a day on social media.
“It’s quite frightening when you consider how much involvement they are.”
The study, conducted in schools across Leicester, recruited 60 children aged 10 years, all of whom had access to social media, 89 percent of whom had their own smartphones.
Kids seem to routinely access social media, despite several sites saying they only allow kids over 13 to sign up.
The most popular social media site was the video-sharing app TikTok, which 89 percent of kids said they used, with 57 percent using the photo-sharing site Instagram, 17 percent using the forum Reddit, and less than 2 percent used Facebook. .
The researchers asked children what time they went to bed, what time they fell asleep, what time they woke up, and questions such as how often they snoozed the alarm clock to assess their sleep quality.
The more time they spent on social media, the worse their sleep quality.
The survey evaluated students’ fears of missing out on social media by asking how strongly they agreed with statements such as “I don’t feel connected to my friends if I’m not logged in to social media.”
This fear, known as Fomo, would help explain why more time on social media is linked to less sleep.
The study found a link between social media and anxiety, which may also help explain decreased sleep in children
dr. Shaw said, “The idea of Fomo is that if you’re not online, something happens, which means you don’t participate in it.
“And we see that a lot in the age groups we’re talking about – where they have a network of friends, and they want to know what their friends are doing.”
The study found a link between social media and anxiety, which may also help explain decreased sleep in children.
Experts fear that kids struggling with social media concerns are staying up much later than healthy so they can keep checking their phones.
The study, which has not yet been published in a scientific journal, found that about two-thirds of children used social media in the two hours before bedtime.
HOW MUCH SCREEN TIME SHOULD TEENAGERS GET?
A recent study from San Diego State University found that the happiest teens were those who limited their daily digital media time to just under two hours a day.
After this daily hour of screen time, the unhappiness steadily increased with increasing screen time.
Looking at historical trends of the same age groups since the 1990s, the researchers found that the increase in screen devices over time coincided with an overall decline in reported happiness among American teens.
Study participants born after 2000 were less satisfied with life, had lower self-esteem and were more unhappy than those growing up in the 1990s.
Since 2012, the satisfaction, self-esteem and happiness of the average teen has plummeted.
That year marked the point where the proportion of Americans with a smartphone rose above 50 percent for the first time.