Experts Say we Need More Than 8 Hours of Sleep Due to Stress From Social Media

Sleep and health organizations tell us to get eight hours of rest a night. The average American only has time for seven.

Now experts are saying we need to spend even more time in bed. Renée Cooper tells us why.

Sleep researchers say we need to get eight and a half hours of rest every night because we are so stressed out, and the anxiety is coming from our phones and laptops. 

Sanford Sleep Center Director Nikki Mills says, “Just with the sounds of what you’re doing or the lights coming from it. The lights from devices emit a blue light which hinders melatonin from processing in your brain to help you feel tired.”

And researchers say social media isn’t helping. 

Bismarck resident David Borlaug explains, “I do find myself going to bed at what I think is early and then making the mistake of getting out my phone, and an hour and a half later I might be shutting off the lights.”

Most people don’t have time for even eight hours of sleep.

Bismarck resident Rufus Blacksher says, “Between the two jobs and the gym, I’m going to say about four to five hours.”

Another Bismarck resident Lacy Brousseau adds, “I would hope for more like seven or eight, but that’s tough to come by.”

Sleeping is more than a time to rest, it’s the time when we process all the information we take in throughout the day. These days we’re taking in more information than ever before.

Mills says we should focus on changing the environment we sleep in rather than the amount of time we sleep.

She explains, “Making sure your bedroom is cool and dark, and what kind of environmental factors do you have? Is it loud? Do you need earplugs or an eye mask or darkening shades in your room?” 

She says ultimately it’s not about the amount of time you sleep but the quality of time spent in bed. 

Several of the people we spoke to in the community said they spend as much time on social media as they dedicate to sleeping at night.

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