Ponderings: Sleep and Social Media

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Every once in a while I get a comment like this one from my friend Bruce Sallan, “Do you ever sleep, Peg?” Of course I do! But this got me thinking about sleep habits and social media. Has social media consumption affected our sleep patterns and the number of hours that social media enthusiasts are sleeping?

From an online article by Laura Blue for Time Health: “Studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hr. a night, as they report, live the longest. And people who sleep 8 hr. or more, or less than 6.5 hr., they don't live quite as long. There is just as much risk associated with sleeping too long as with sleeping too short. The big surprise is that long sleep seems to start at 8 hr. Sleeping 8.5 hr. might really be a little worse than sleeping 5 hr.”

For me, I go to bed around 11 or 11:30 and I am up at 5:30ish every morning so my total sleep per night is 6- 6.5 hours per night. Granted sometimes I stay up a little later, but I am always up at the same time. I don't require a lot of sleep and I am a morning person – I like to say that I am “naturally caffeinated” because I am ready to go when I wake up in the morning. So, I would say that since I have been more involved in social media, my sleep patterns have not changed too much. I think I stay up a little bit later however I watch much less television. I check my iPad right when I wake to up to see what had been going on but nothing too drastic. For me the best part of waking up isn't Folgers in my cup but checking what happened while I was sleeping.

From Diana Adams in her post: “There is one Twitter addict habit, which I have, that I didn’t realize until recently that many other people have too… Here is my confession – I sleep with my phone under my pillow every night. Not only that, I almost never sleep an entire night through without waking up and checking my tweets, my replies and my DMs at least two or three times. Sometimes I even wake up, tweet for an hour or so, and then go back to sleep.”

Diana isn't alone! Per Retrevo, which surveyed 1,000 online individuals “our Facebook and Twitter activities continue even after we’ve hit the hay, with 48% of respondents checking in on activity when they wake up in the middle of the night or as soon as they wake up in the morning.” I will admit to these behaviors, you? Our instant gratification communication social media society is changing our behaviors for better or worse.

I asked a few friends about their sleep habits and if they thought social media has affected their sleep.

Response from Joyce Cherrier:  Joyce's Blog Freaking Fitness

I try to sleep at least 7 hours a nite. In the beginning I would stay up and tweet but now I know it will affect me the next day too much, so I make myself get offline.

Response from Aaron Lee: You can find him at @AskAaronLee or his blog.

“Well, what I can say is I have enough of sleep, roughly 6-8 hours despite spending tons of time on social media since social media is my work and I love engaging with people! 🙂

Social media doesn't affect my sleep. (It's part of me now) I do read my feed and DM's before I go to bed, I don't wake up in the middle of the night to check it though. I think people who love social media like you and I make it work.”

Response from Dane Findley: You can find him at InstantDane.Tv!

“How long I sleep a night depends on variables:

When I eat super healthy, I need less sleep: 7 hours

When I exercise intensely, I need more sleep: 8 hours

When I'm recuperating or between projects, I take advantage of it! 9 hours

Social media activities do not appear to impact my sleep schedule: In the day, I interact on onlin social channels in between projects, tasks, and productivity bursts. 5-minute check-ins have replaced the “water-cooler break” of yesteryear. In the night, social media is done while relaxing, usually while the television is on in the background. (Of course, if you're a professional online Community Manager or Digital Marketing Consultant or Professional Blogger, then you will be spending more time on the channels as part of your work, which is how it should be.)”

Response from Matthew Browne: Find Matt on one of his fabulous blogs HootnAnnie or MatthewLiberty.

“On average I get 4.5 to 5 hours of sleep per night and I can honestly say my lack of sleep is not impacted by social media, I have been sleep deprived long before social media. I blame my lack of sleep on the inability to shut my brain down, I tend to think endlessly…which is good and bad.”

Love to hear about your sleep habits? Are you a night owl? Getting enough or too much sleep? Share with me….

A few sources to site:

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? by Laura Blue for Time Health

The Secret of Many Twitter Addicts: Do You Do It? by Diana Adams for Bit Rebels

Social Media Usage Stats via Mashable

Image courtesy of Some rights reserved by murdelta via Creative Commons.
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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  1. Peg, we are pretty much on the same schedule…just 2,000+ miles and 3 hours, time-zone, apart! Come to BlogWorld in L.A. in November!? You can stay with my family! I’ll pick you up at the airport!

    1. That is an awesome offer Bruce – totally wish I could! Don’t think I will be able to make it to California in November. 

      Thank you so much for your support and positive attitude!

  2. So appreciate you being a part of it Dane! My phone is next to me charging but NO notifications or dings. I am a very light sleeper. I don’t want to hear it either!
    Thanks! <3

  3. Peg great post, put a smile on my face… Me, Social Media hasn’t impacted my sleep pattern. To bed about 10ish, depends on what’s happening, always up at 5 am. I don’t need caffeine to get start or sleep with cell under my pillow. I am guilty of checking tweets & emails 1st thing & is last thing I do. Thank You! Night Tweeterville I need my 7 hours of beauty sleep!!!

  4. i have a bad habit of taking nap during the day, if i can call a nap, normally turns out to be 2 h sleep 🙂 i sleep on average 4 – 5 hours during the night and around 5 am i always get a sparkly good morning tweet from fab Peg, so how i can resist of not replaying 🙂 xox

    1. Ohh a nap! Love naps – but only short ones or I get grouchy. So you get 7 hours total – can you add naps to night time sleep?

      Am I tweeting you awake? I will tweet later 🙂
      Thanks Jure! xoxo

  5. Hi Matt – 
    Great to meet you! That is an excellent point to try to end your Social Media with some time away from the computer before bed. I do that but bring my iPad with me. Cheating I know!
    Thanks for your thoughts

  6. Keith,
    I think we get that comment because we have so much energy. Ha – half vampire! Awesome suggestions about breakfast and a time to shut down.

  7. Awesome quote from the next generation! I do agree that vacations are tough. Have you seen the buffer app? I like it!

    Love your thought about feeling energized while you are online – I feel the same way!

  8. Thanks so much for saying my post was interesting Kenna! It means so much especially knowing how many blogs you read and I value your opinion.

    I think the key is balance & time management with Social Media. I spend a lot of time on Social Media as well and also manage it for my company as well. But I am still getting enough sleep, as are you, and getting all my other tasks done I say read, tweet and post away!

    See ya around the chat circuit where we will discuss hair in the midst of serious business topics. 🙂

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