Snapchat addiction could lead to serious health problems as users can't get enough of the site

Snapchat users addicted to the social media site could be getting as little as five hours sleep a night.

Almost seven out of ten subscribers claim they regularly wake up in the night to check their ‘snaps’ before they vanish.

Researchers commissioned by bed maker Silentnight say Snapchat – where ‘stories’ disappear after 24 hours – is the social media platform most likely to cause sleep deprivation.

The poll which surveyed more than 2,000 UK residents, found that 68 per cent of Snapchat users had sleep deprivation.

Sixty two per cent of Instagram admitted scrolling through the app kept them from getting a good night’s sleep – with more than half of users saying they woke up in the night to check their feeds.

A survey of 2,000 UK residents were worried they were missing out on things posted on social media, known as FOMO
(Photo: Getty)

The biggest users of both networks were those aged between 16-24, with 43 per cent of this group admitting to never going a day without social media due to the ‘Fear of missing out’ culture known as FOMO.

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan of Silentnight said: “Social networks are definitely causing a heightened feeling of FOMO, particularly with the younger generation who are so used to seeing their social lives played out online and often rely on validation from likes and shares.

“With Snapchat in particular, snaps are only there for 24 hours and then they are gone, making it all the more tempting to keep checking the app so as not to miss out. It’s easy to see why this habit is creeping into bedtime routines.”

More than 40 per cent of all Britons claim to be addicted to social media – checking sites more than eight times a day, racking up nearly three hours on the networks, and 20 per cent of people were so preoccupied with social media they actually ‘dreamt’ about it.

Twitter is the third worst for sleep deprivation
(Photo: Getty)

The research found that 25 per cent of Brits never go a day without logging on – although 27 per cent claim they felt ‘calmer’ after taking a break from social media.

Dr Nerina added: “It’s quite concerning to see just how much people are using social media at night time. The impact on sleep is particularly concerning.

“It’s proven that the blue light from phones and tablets wakes up the brain, making it difficult to wind down and fall asleep. So punctuating the night with social media checks is a recipe for disaster if you want to sleep well.

“It’s unrealistic to completely ban mobile devices from the bedroom, but people need to be more aware of the impact they are having to achieve a better tech-life balance. As a sleep deprived nation we’d do well to limit the amount of time we are spending on social media.

Snapchat messages diisappear after a while, making users keen to see them before they’re lost
(Photo: PA)

“Try to stop scrolling through social media 60-90 minutes before bedtime. This will allow you brain to wind down and lead to deeper, more restorative sleep. ”

Social media channels ranked from most to least disruptive to sleep:

  1. Snapchat
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook

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