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Which Social Media Apps Have the Biggest Impact on Sleep Patterns? [Infographic]

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Which Social Media Apps Have the Biggest Impact on Sleep Patterns? [Infographic]

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Do you use your phone in bed, right up until you go to sleep?

Many see this as a way to relax and unwind after the workday, but it may not be as calming as you think.

To glean some insight into this, the team from Sleep Junkie recently surveyed 2,012 Americans, the majority of which regularly use their phones before sleep, in order to find out which apps have the biggest impact on their sleep patterns.

As per Sleep Junkie:

“We asked each participant to wear a smartwatch to record how long it took to fall asleep and the amount of time spent in the REM phase of the sleep cycle, as well as provide feedback on how tired they felt the next morning after using their designated app, in the hour before falling asleep.”

As you can see in the below graphic, TikTok had the biggest impact, with those who spent their pre-sleep time scrolling through their ‘For You’ feeds ending up spending only 14% of their sleep cycle in the vital REM phase, almost half of the amount of REM sleep they should be getting. You can see how other apps fared below.

The good news is that Sleep Junkie identifies the biggest impact as blue light emission from your phone screen, which can be reduced by switching to dark mode in your apps. Sleep Junkie also recommends not using any electronics for at least two hours before sleeping.

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Maybe the new year is a good time to implement new evening phone habits. You can read more in Sleep Junkie’s full report here.

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UK teen died after ‘negative effects of online content’: coroner

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Molly Russell was exposed to online material 'that may have influenced her in a negative way'

Molly Russell was exposed to online material ‘that may have influenced her in a negative way’ – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Philip FONG

A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the “negative effects of online content”, a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.

Molly Russell was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness,” Andrew Walker ruled at North London Coroner’s Court.

The teenager “died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression”, he said, but added it would not be “safe” to conclude it was suicide.

Some of the content she viewed was “particularly graphic” and “normalised her condition,” said Walker.

Russell, from Harrow in northwest London, died in November 2017, leading her family to set up a campaign highlighting the dangers of social media.

“There are too many others similarly affected right now,” her father Ian Russell said after the ruling.

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“At this point, I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope.

“I hope that this will be an important step in bringing about much needed change,” he added.

The week-long hearing became heated when the family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, took an Instagram executive to task.

A visibly angry Sanders asked Elizabeth Lagone, the head of health and wellbeing at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, why the platform allowed children to use it when it was “allowing people to put potentially harmful content on it”.

“You are not a parent, you are just a business in America. You have no right to do that. The children who are opening these accounts don’t have the capacity to consent to this,” he said.

Lagone apologised after being shown footage, viewed by Russell, that “violated our policies”.

Of the 16,300 posts Russell saved, shared or liked on Instagram in the six-month period before her death, 2,100 related to depression, self-harm or suicide, the inquest heard.

Children’s charity NSPCC said the ruling “must be a turning point”.

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“Tech companies must be held accountable when they don’t make children’s safety a priority,” tweeted the charity.

“This must be a turning point,” it added, stressing that any delay to a government bill dealing with online safety “would be inconceivable to parents”.

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