Social media can be more harmful to children than expected. The news comes thanks to a new study claiming how the trend is adversely affecting elementary school children.
According to the shocking results, they could lose up to an entire night of sleep every week. And that’s because of staying up late and using social media.
Health experts recommend that children get at least 9 to 12 hours of sleep. But those who were more active online slept far less than the daily recommended number of hours set for children aged 10 and under.
Less sleep can have a drastic impact on their health and well-being. These include poor school performance and changes in their behavioral patterns. In addition, the study shed light on such children getting much less sleep than recommended each night, on average, around 8 hours or less.
And when you add that up, researchers found that it’s the equivalent of losing an entire night’s quality sleep.
The study is definitely one of the first of its kind. It has been linked to being the first company to showcase pre-teens’ sleep habits, and it’s worrying to see how many young children of this age do Value online activity over sleep.
The study came from a researcher named Dr. John Shaw, who hails from the University of De Montfort. He even presented his study at the recent Leicester Science Festival. And many parents were shocked to see that 69% of kids preferred social media to sleep.
And when you think about it, statistics like this are terribly frightening because this is the future generation and parents need to step in before it’s too late.
This particular study involved around 60 students, spread across different schools, and they were just 10 years old. The majority had unrestricted access to social media and around 90% said they owned their own smartphone.
Sites that claim they don’t allow visitors under the age of 13 aren’t getting their facts right because children gain access easily. Most of the students surveyed spent their time on the popular video-sharing app TikTok. Other popular favorites also included Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit.
Frequently asked questions by the researchers to the young audience were their sleeping habits, sleep times and when they can get up in the morning. And as you can imagine, the greater their online activity, the less they slept and the poorer their sleep quality.
Many kids seem to suffer from FOMO syndrome, which is the fear of missing out when they choose not to log into their favorite social media apps. They also added that there was some sort of disconnect when they couldn’t see or interact with others on the apps.
This shows how negatively activity affects the mental health and well-being of young children. It’s really affecting their behavior, and that’s the purpose of the study – to raise awareness and put an end to it.
Read Next: Top 10 Educational Apps on iOS That Are Sure to Invade Your Privacy