June 14, 2024
Digital Nightmares

Social Media Use before Bedtime: A New Study Reveals the Link between Digital Nightmares, Mental Health, and Disrupted Sleep

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, but new research from Flinders University suggests that excessive use of social media before bedtime could lead to distressing digital nightmares, negatively impacting our mental health and sleep quality.

Reza Shabahang, a researcher from the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, explains that the widespread adoption of social media has far-reaching consequences, even during our dreams.

“As social media becomes increasingly intertwined with our lives, its influence extends beyond our waking hours and may impact our dreams,” says Mr. Shabahang.

To quantify the potential impact of social media on nightmares, Mr. Shabahang developed the Social Media Nightmare-Related Scale (SMNS). This new tool assesses how social media use contributes to nightmares by integrating research on dreaming, nightmares, and the relationship between media and dreams, with a focus on themes specific to social media, such as helplessness, loss of control, and victimization.

The findings of this study, published in BMC Psychology, introduce the concept of social media-related nightmares, which are defined as dreams that involve social media-related themes, such as cyberbullying, online harassment, or excessive social media use.

Although social media-related nightmares are relatively uncommon, individuals who use social media extensively during their daily lives are more likely to experience these types of nightmares, which have been linked to negative mental health outcomes, including anxiety, depression, and poor Sleep quality.

Mr. Shabahang concludes, “This study sheds light on the intricate relationships between social media use, mental health, and sleep quality. By understanding the potential consequences of social media use before bedtime, we can take steps to mitigate the negative impact on our mental and emotional well-being.”

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research.
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.