From stress to social media: why aren’t we sleeping enough?

Sunday Insomnia

November 1st marks National Stress Awareness Day, so there’s no better time to take a closer look at the factors which stop us sleeping well, including stress.

As we all know, sleep is a vital part of a happy, healthy lifestyle. When we don’t get enough sleep, we put ourselves at risk of negative experiences such as stress, anxiety and even depression. It’s no surprise to most of us that our sleep pattern changes as we age, but recent research has discovered that a growing number of people are experiencing increased feelings of weariness, lassitude and fatigue, whatever their age or background.

The reason? It seems that stress might be to blame. Specifically, stress brought on by aspects of the modern lifestyle such as social media.

Medical professionals agree that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can wear you down and wear you out

Dr Patricia Bratt, who works as a therapist and psychoanalyst in New York City, explains clearly the effect that social media can have on both our stress levels and our sleep patterns.

She says: “Social media can run the gamut from being fabulously uplifting to being totally depressing and exhausting. And this applies to all ages.

“It impacts their sense of themselves and their identities and makes them anxious. Social media has created a new sense of impulsivity and urgency, it can make [young people] feel overwhelmed by what is happening in the world, and all of these factors can be fatiguing and can impact how they sleep.”

Bratt works particularly with young adults who check their social media at all hours of the day and night, and who constantly complain of feeling tired, but other research shows how social media can cause stress and tiredness in all ages.

A study by non-profit organization Anxiety UK found that over half of social media users polled said that it had changed their lives, and 51 per cent said that this change was not for the better. 45 per cent of respondents acknowledged feeling “worried or uncomfortable”, and what’s more, 54 per cent admitted to checking their phone while lying in bed. This can have a direct impact on your body’s release of melatonin, also known as you’re body natural sleep hormone.

A similar study by the University of Bergen in Norway found that those with poor sleeping habits are most likely to be “obsessed” with platforms like Facebook. What all of these results tell us is that there is a link between social media and stress, and it’s this stress, paired with a constant reliance on social media for updates and entertainment, which can impact on our sleep.

Other causes of sleep deprivation are often easier to diagnose, but stress can be underlying

Stress and social media aren’t the only factors impacting on our sleep levels. Conditions like sleep apnoea and poor dietary habits are also common causes of tiredness and a lack of legitimate rest. But whilst factors such as these are reasonably easy to diagnose, factors such as stress can be underlying and therefore go unnoticed.

Like social media, overworking is a common cause of stress and can ultimately reduce your sleep quality. A study by the National Safety Council found that a huge 97 per cent of respondents were overworked in some way, and 43 per cent of those asked admitted that they do not get enough sleep to think clearly at work, make informed decisions or be productive.

Understanding the causes behind sleep deprivation is the first step to overcoming poor sleep quality and ensuring a good night’s rest every night. There are plenty of things you can do to unwind of an evening, and if in doubt, ask Mammoth.

Ready to take your first step towards a better night’s sleep? Why not test drive a Mammoth today and discover the Science of Comfort. Simply find your nearest retailer by clicking here.

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