Study finds 20% of teens awake up at night to check social media
More than one in five teenagers say they “almost always” wake up during the night to look at or post messages on social media, according in some of the latest sleep research from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data in Cardiff, Wales.
Researchers also determined that more than a third of 12- to 15-year-olds say they wake up to check social media at least once a week.
Those who reported waking to use social networks recorded lower levels of well-being, the study notes.
Not surprisingly, more than half of those who almost always woke to check Facebook or Twitter reported “almost always” going to school feeling tired.
In addition, researchers discovered that having a regular wake time and use of social media at night are more important than a regular bedtime in determining whether students are tired during the day.
As a result, researchers argued against later school start times for teens. If schools started later, students would be less likely to have set wake times.
“Having a regular morning routine may actually prove to be a very important feature in helping adolescents concentrate and enjoy their learning, something that may actually be undermined by changes to the school day,” the research paper notes.
The institute’s Kimberly Horton adds that curbing nighttime waking also is critical. “It seems very important to discourage adolescents from using social media during the night. No amount of effort to develop regular bedtimes or to lengthen the time in bed would seem to be able to compensate for the disruption that this can cause.”
Getting the right amount of sleep seems to keep heart disease at bay.
In a study of more than 47,000 young and middle-aged men and women, researchers at the Center for Cohort Studies at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital and Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, found that adults who slept fewer than five hours a night had 50% more calcium in their coronary arteries than those who slept seven hours.
But was more sleep better? Apparently not. Those who slept nine hours or more a night had 70% more calcium in their coronary arteries than those who slept only seven hours.
The quality of sleep also mattered. Those who reported sleeping poorly had 20% more arterial calcium buildup than those who reported sleeping well. In addition, researchers found similar results when they looked at arterial stiffness.
Overall, the best heart health was discovered in adults who slept well for an average of about seven hours a night.
Sleep apnea may damage blood-brain barrier
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have found that sleep apnea, a disorder that causes frequent breathing interruptions during sleep, contributes to the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, which plays a role in protecting brain tissue by keeping harmful bacteria, infections and chemicals from reaching the brain.
A study recently published in Developmental Neuropsychology on the latest sleep research finds a definite link between poor infant sleep and compromised attention and behavior at the toddler stage. The research discovered that 1-year-olds who experienced fragmented sleep were more likely to have difficulties concentrating and to exhibit behavioral problems at 3 and 4 years of age.