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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Research indicates 10-year-olds lose sleep to check social media

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LONDON (CU)_The negative effects of social media continue to be highlighted in a new study revealing that roughly 12.5% of 10-year-olds were losing almost 1 night’s sleep every week due to the time spent on social media.

Cyber bullying which has in some occasions led to child suicides and in other instances led to long term psychological impacts have prompted some parents to completely cut their children off smart phones and some parents to allow their children to access mobile devices under strict supervision. Research conducted by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have demonstrated that kids are losing approximately one night’s sleep each week as they stay up to access social media. The research was led by Dr John Shaw a Phycology lecturer.

Speaking recently at the British Science Festival, which was held in Leicester, hosted by DMU as lead partner with the British Science Association, Dr Shaw stated that his team had surveyed 60 children, all aged 10, from schools around the city.

The findings indicated that the children, got an average of 8.7 hours sleep each night, less than the recommended 9 to 11 hours for their age group. Over a week, indicated they were losing an average of 1 night’s sleep a week. Almost 70% of the group said they used social media for over 4 hours a day, with two-thirds saying they were using it in the hours prior to sleeping.

Dr Shaw indicated that Primary school children should receive 9 to 11 hours per night and even if they get an hour less its equivalent of a night’s sleep lost per week. “The fear of missing out, which is driven 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 is happening, it means you’re not taking part in it,” said Dr. Shaw.

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