New Research Suggests That Too Much Social Media Usage May Haunt Us At Night And Cause Nightmares

mtrlin - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

We all know that social media has plenty of downsides, potentially leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation. But, a new study has added yet another to the list – suggesting that too much social media usage can actually haunt us at night and cause disturbing nightmares.

The research presented a concept known as “social media-related nightmares,” a new category of bad dreams that arises from the anxieties and stresses associated with our online habits.

The nightmares typically involve themes of victimization, helplessness, and loss of control within the context of interacting on social media. Additionally, these nightmares related to social media can act as their own stressors, disrupting peoples’ sleep cycles and even causing individuals to wake up in the middle of the night.

An international team of researchers led this study and created a 14-item questionnaire known as the Social Media-Related Nightmare Scale (SMNS) to assess the content and frequency of these nightmares. The scale included situations such as “disruption of relationships with other social media users” and “being unable to log in to social media.”

Then, the researchers surveyed 595 Iranian adults. The study participants regularly used social media, and most were predominantly Instagram users.

The study revealed that the frequency of social media-related nightmares was actually relatively low. Nonetheless, the results still showed a strong correlation between levels of social media usage and how often these disturbing nightmares occurred.

Those who spent more amount of time on social media and felt more emotionally connected to social media platforms were found to be more likely to suffer from social media-related nightmares.

Additionally, nightmares were just the tip of the iceberg. The researchers discovered that those who frequently dealt with social media-related nightmares reported other adverse effects, too, including reduced peace of mind, poorer sleep quality, increased anxiety, and more distress from their nightmares.

Now, the study’s design was correlational, meaning it doesn’t definitively prove that social media usage leads to nightmares. But, the researchers believe their findings still emphasize how important it is to be self-aware and mindful of how much time we spend online.

mtrlin – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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