Teenagers with high social media use at bedtime suffer disturbed sleep, which in turn leads to depressed mood, according to new research from a Murdoch University PhD candidate.

Lynette Vernon, who will present on her findings at the Australian Psychological Society’s 50th Annual Conference on the Gold Coast, said the research followed teenagers over a four-year period and found a strong relationship between high social media use, sleep disturbance and increased depressed mood.

Her research is part of the Youth Activity Participation Study (YAPS) of Western Australia, a nine-year longitudinal study of over 1800 young people and their leisure pursuits. It seeks to understand how experiences in sport, performing arts, or social networking can facilitate positive development or exacerbate health risks.

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