A survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that 93% of Gen Z have lost sleep because they stayed up “past their bedtime” to view or participate in social media. With students back in school for another year, this wired and tired generation may be lacking the sufficient, healthy sleep they need to excel in the classroom, extracurriculars and beyond.
“Viral videos, trendy TikTok dances and funny memes are an easy rabbit hole to fall into, keeping young minds buzzing at night and throwing away time that could be spent sleeping,” said Dr. Anne Marie Morse, a pediatric sleep medicine physician and a member of the AASM Public Awareness Advisory Committee. “When social media use disrupts students’ sleep, it can impact physical and mental health as well as performance in school and extracurriculars.”
To educate students, parents and educators on the importance of sleep for success, well-being and overall health, the AASM is holding the third annual Student Sleep Health Week from Sept. 12-18, 2022.
Prioritizing social media over sleep isn’t just a problem for students – it’s pervasive across all ages, with 80% of the total population admitting to lost sleep due to the liking, swiping and scrolling that comes with viewing or participating in social media.
The AASM offers the following tips to help maintain a healthy relationship with social media and sleep and avoid feeling “TikTok tired” during the day:
- Disconnect from devices at night—Turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime to help prepare for sleep.
- Follow a relaxing nighttime routine—Find something you look forward to doing, like taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book or journaling to help you wind down at the end of the day.
- Leave your phone in another room—It’s tempting to go on your phone, so keep it in a separate room at night. If you use your phone for a morning alarm, consider using an alarm clock instead.
- Turn off push notifications—If you must have your phone in your bedroom at night, turn off push notifications and sound to avoid using your phone.
- Set time limits on social media—Many phones and apps allow you to activate limits that notify you when you have reached your designated time amount on a site.
- Have a sleep schedule—Go to bed and get up at the same times on a regular basis and hold yourself to it! Don’t let scrolling stop you from getting your precious hours of sleep.
Sleep experts from the AASM will hold a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion at 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 12, during Student Sleep Health Week. Learn more about Student Sleep Health Week and access educator resources and information on the benefits of later school start times.
To help select an appropriate bedtime for your schedule, use the AASM’s Online Bedtime Calculator.
About the Survey
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine commissioned an online survey of 2,010 adults in the U.S. The overall margin of error fell within +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. Fieldwork took place between Feb. 17-24, 2022. Atomik Research is an independent market research agency.
About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the AASM advances sleep care and enhances sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited sleep centers and individuals, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who care for patients with sleep disorders. As the leader in the sleep field, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.