The boys’ sleep is deteriorating because of the misuse of social networks, according to the results of a study that was released yesterday.
The work, which was developed by researchers at De Montfort University in Leicester (United Kingdom), indicates that 10-year-old children are losing the equivalent of one full night of sleep per week by consulting the networks.
The experts indicated that it is recommended that at this stage the boys sleep around 10 hours a day. But the researchers found that elementary school kids with the highest social media use sleep an average of 8.7 hours a night.
The study indicates that boys are sleeping worse and that is why they are at greater risk of feeling anxiety and having lower school performance, among other problems.
The study was based on the testimony of 60 10-year-old boys, all with access to social networks, and 89% with their own cell phone.
About 70% of those consulted said they use the networks 4 hours or more per day, while about 13% admitted that this meant frequently checking them “in the middle of the night” or “when I should be asleep”.
The most used network was TikTok, used by 89% of children. 57% claimed to use Instagram, 17% used the Reddit forum and less than 2% accessed Facebook.
The authors of the work asked the boys what time they went to bed, fell asleep, what time they woke up and other data to evaluate their rest. And they found that the more time they spent on social media, the worse their sleep quality.
The boys’ fear of neglecting this type of platform was also evaluated by asking them how much they agreed with statements such as “I feel disconnected from my friends when I’m not logged in to social networks”.
The authors believe this fear helps explain why more time on social media is linked to less sleep.
“The fear of missing out, fueled by social media, is directly affecting their sleep. They want to know what their friends are doing, and if you’re not online when something happens, that means you’re not participating,” Shaw said, adding that “it can be a feedback loop. If you’re anxious, you’re more likely to be on social media, which will make you more nervous. And you’re looking at something that stimulates and delays sleep.”
Experts say kids get enough sleep when they can fall asleep 15 to 30 minutes after going to bed, wake up easily at the right time, and don’t need naps.
They noted that not getting enough sleep can also lead to disorders such as difficulty getting up in the morning, hyperactivity, depression, impatience, mood swings, impulse control problems or aggressive behavior.