New Mind Waves podcast episode on mental health and social media! Part 2: Dr Cleland Woods talks about the relationship between social media and sleep

Great news! There’s a new episode of the Mind Waves podcast out. Our fabulous intern Rosie chats to Luke, Hannah and Amy of the Glasgow Disability Alliance, Dr Heather Cleland Woods from Glasgow University and Jennie Walker from the Mental Health Foundation.

The episode focuses on mental health and social media and over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at these three interviews. I’d recommend you listen to the episode before you read these – it’s so interesting and under 40 minutes, the perfect thing to listen to when you’re on a walk, doing some yoga or cosying up with a cup of tea. Listen to the podcast here.

This week we’re going to be taking a look at the second interview of the episode! Rosie chats to Dr Heather Cleland Woods, a senior lecturer in the school of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow. Along with her colleague Dr Holly Scott, Dr Cleland Woods runs the #sleepyteens project, which aims to examine some of the connections between social media use and sleep, and how that affects our wellbeing and ability to connect with others.

Rosie asks Heather if there was any evidence that showed increased levels of anxiety due to social media use. She responds that the topic is incredibly complex and there’s a few things to unpick here: “We know that if you aren’t getting enough sleep… that is related to anxiety and depression.” She stresses that the importance of good quality sleep cannot be understated.

However, when she started to unpick the relationship between social media use and sleep, a lot of small relationships between the two were revealed: “It’s not just as simple as social media = bad sleep = anxiety.”

When Heather interacted with young people and asked them about their relationship with social media and they shared that their use primarily focused on connecting with friends. Although staying up all night talking to friends online doesn’t have the best results for sleep, Heather stresses that the most important thing is to strike a balance with how we use the internet, not remove the phone and social media from young people completely

If you haven’t listened to the podcast yet, hopefully this blog post has shared enough interesting tidbits to tempt you over to Anchor to listen.  Next week we’ll be summarising Rosie’s final interview of the podcast, Jennie Walker from the Mental Health Foundation. Click here to search the hashtag#sleepyteens on Twitter, or follow Heather @clelandwoods to keep up with the project. See you next week!



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