Home / Health / Social media obsessions costing people much-needed sleep

Social media obsessions costing people much-needed sleep

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, February 25, 2016, 11:21 AM

Sleeping with your phone in easy reach is a sure-fire way to disturb your much-needed rest.Monkey Business Images/istock

Sleeping with your phone in easy reach is a sure-fire way to disturb your much-needed rest.

Turn it all off to go to sleep.

Studies proved that our addiction to glowing screens robs us of much-needed rest.

“Right up there with food, water and air, sleep is foundational,” says Paul Glovinsky, a New York psychologist specializing in insomnia. “Generally to sleep well you need to sign off. For whatever reason, people feel they cannot do that.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says adults require seven to nine hours of sleep. Here’s how to get them, starting an hour before bedtime:

n Power down.

n Put all devices in another room, or at least out of reach.

n Set an alarm clock and turn it away from you, so no additional light is shining.

A recent study on sleep disturbance and social media habits from the University of Pittsburgh of 1,788 adults found that the 30% who reported bad sleep were obsessively on social media.

Those who can’t help but respond to texts immediately, check out the latest GIF of Donald Trump’s hair or chime in on Facebook often chalk up their social media attachment to work.

“I keep the phone in my bed,” says Sheri Lacy, a Short Hills Realtor. “I look at my phone way too much. Because of my job the emails come in and I just have to be on top of it. And when I can’t sleep, I wake up and look at it first thing. I use it as my clock.”

“It’s completely pathetic,” Lacy adds. “I am so connected to it. There is something wrong.”

Lacy’s so attached to her phone that “if it were waterproof, I would probably take it in the shower.” But she’s trained herself to not answer work email or texts in the middle of the night.

Sleep expert Glovinsky likens the constant hyper-awareness — the listening for the latest beep or buzz from a device — to the way a new mother is attuned to her baby’s cries.

“People wake up momentarily often during the night,” Glovinsky explains. “We call it a transient arousal. Even in a good night of sleep, you might have 30 transient arousals that last just a few seconds.”

If there is no device available with its siren screen attracting attention, people generally reposition themselves, find the cool part of the pillow and return to slumber.

“Something could drag a wedge into sleep at that point,” Glovinsky says of those 3 to 15-second mini wake-ups. “If nothing happens, you just go back to sleep and don’t remember any of it. You can put it out of mind — because once you are up for a minute, you can be up for hour.”

Many of Glovinsky’s patients in finance check global markets in the middle of the night. And most jobs have emails coming in at at all hours.

Even those frequently on social media, such as Laurie Goldberg, an executive vice president at Discovery Channel, can train themselves to put down the devices at night.

“I love my social media,” Goldberg says. “Unless I am live-tweeting an awards show, I always turn off all my devices before bedtime.”

She gives herself an hour before sleep, though jokes that during election season she may need two hours to calm down.

jcutler@nydailynews.com

Tags:
technology ,
health studies


Health – NY Daily News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*