If You Constantly Check Facebook, You May Have A Serious Health Problem

How many times a day do you check Facebook? Really think about this for a second. Is it once or twice? Or more like 24?

If you nodded along when I threw "24" out there, you may want to sit down while you read this. Scrolling through your Facebook feed that often may not be as harmless as you think. According to a small new study, it could be a sign of sleep deprivation.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine surveyed 76 undergrads about their moods, how engaged they felt in tasks they performed and how difficult they found these tasks. They also had them fill out a sleep survey every morning and another questionnaire at night for a week while monitoring their smartphone and computer usages with tracking software.

The results weren't pretty: Researchers found checking Facebook constantly throughout the day is directly linked with a chronic lack of sleep.

In a press release, researcher Gloria Mark explained,

When you get less sleep, you're more prone to distraction. If you're being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It's lightweight, it's easy, and you're tired.

Although I can certainly appreciate things about Facebook (especially that feature letting you erase your ex), this isn't the first time Facebook was linked with negative consequences that affect your well-being.

According to Psychology Today, Facebook leads to envy and social comparison (aka insecurity about how cool your life is), and it can keep you from letting go of people you'd like to forget (ahem, your ex).

Now that you have this sad information, start by closing that Facebook tab you have open. Next, make sure to get a healthy seven to eight hours of sleep tonight.

You'll be cured in no time.

Citations: New Sign of Sleep Deprivation: Compulsive Facebook Checking (Health), 7 Ways Facebook Is Bad for Your Mental Health (Psychology Today)