COUNCIL CHRONICLE- A sleep-focused study presented on Monday during the Associated Professional Sleep Societies’ annual meeting, revealed that extended screen time could lead to depression in teens. The study also noted that teenagers using electronic devices on a daily basis had reported restorative sleep issues.
Web Surfing and Social Media Use Less Damaging in Terms of Depression Than Gaming
Xiana Stella Li, postdoctoral researcher and the study’s co-author, noted that depression, lack of sleep, and overuse of electronic devices are intimately related.
The study, whose abstract was recently published in the online version of journal Sleep, relied on the data collected from a nation-wide survey.
As Li declared during SLEEP 2018, the study involved 3,134 participants, ages 15 to 16. To determine the relationship between depression, sleep, and screen time, Li and the other members of the team divided each interview into two parts.
In the first part, participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire which included questions pertaining to activities such as web surfing, gaming, movies watching, and social media. The second part of the interview required them to fill out a standard CES-D depression test.
The results were staggering, to say the least. Stella Li declared that all participants who spend an extended amount of time surfing the web, using social media, or watching movies, were more likely to suffer from insomnia. In turn, this led to depressive symptoms.
Furthermore, based on the study’s results, it would appear that gaming is more damaging compared to movie-watching, web surfing or social media.
Li declared that the study’s result should be taken with a grain of salt. More specifically, these results should serve as guidelines for parents, educators, and healthcare providers confronted with teenage depression.
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