Credit: Maxim Ilyahov via Unsplash

GU researchers develop tool examining late-night usage of social media in teens

By Silas Pease

It is hoped this tool will help shine a brighter light on how social media usage impacts the sleeping behaviour of adolescents. 

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have developed a new system of determining how teenagers and young people are impacted by engaging with social media before going to bed. The Index of Nighttime Offline Distress (iNOD) is believed to accurately measure how young people engage in late-night usage of social media. 

Comprised of a 10-point questionnaire addressing topics such as wanting to stay up to date on current issues and dealing with social expectations among peers, it is hoped the iNOD will be capable of “capturing sleep-relevant aspects of this inherently social and interactive experience” which, according to a recent paper discussing this tool, has been largely absent in most other studies on social media usage in adolescents. 

Dr Holly Scott, the lead writer of this paper, recently discussed the importance of the iNOD in a University press release. Here she stated the aim of the project is trying to “get a truer sense of the trade-offs young people make between social connections and night-time social media use, and to draw a clearer demarcation of the points where it can begin to impact on young people’s sleep”.

The full report discussing the tool, titled Nodding off but can’t disconnect: development and validation of the iNOD index of Nighttime Offline Distress was published in Sleep Medicine earlier this year. You can access the report here.


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