We Know You Just Can’t Stop Checking Facebook

Effects of no sleep for a week.

A new study found that sleep duration affects Facebook use. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) say that checking Facebook many times daily indicates that one is not getting enough sleep, which affects mood and productivity.

“Our results show that with less sleep, people report higher perceived work pressure and productivity. Also, computer focus duration is significantly shorter suggesting higher multitasking,” the authors state. “The more sleep debt, the more Facebook use and the higher the negative mood. With less sleep, people may seek out activities requiring less attentional resources such as social media use. Our results have theoretical implications for multitasking: physiological and cognitive reasons could explain.”

While other studies have shown that social media use disrupts sleep, this new study, which has not been published yet, aimed to associate lack of sleep with increased Facebook use. This involved assessing 76 undergraduates, 34 males and 42 females, for seven days for their behaviour, activities and stress levels. The researchers tracked their phone and computer use with a software that recorded the undergraduates’ gadget use.

facebook on ipad

According to the study, participants were given a sleep survey each morning and an end-of-day survey at night. The surveys asked about their mood, engagement level at work, and the perceived difficulty of their assigned tasks.

Sleep debt is the accumulated difference between the amount of needed sleep and amount of sleep experience. Lead researcher Gloria Mark, a UCI informatics professor, says in a statement that a chronic lack of sleep leads to constant Facebook browsing as well as a bad mood. Additionally, the participant’s attention shifted among different computer screens as a result of less sleep, suggesting that their distractibility has increased.

“We thought that when students are more sleep-deprived and when they’re using technology, they might seek out activities involving fewer cognitive resources,” Mark told The Huffington Post. “If a person is tired, they have fewer attentional resources available. So it makes sense to do something easy and lightweight, and to follow habits.”


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