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Last semester I observed a change in my roommate’s sleeping patterns where they developed Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS). EDS is an augmented desire to sleep during the day or trouble remaining awake or alert during the daytime, and its most common cause is sleep deprivation (Brown & Makker, 2020). This followed after my roommates developed an increased utilization of social media and the internet. Since I knew sleep deprivation causes EDS, I decided to conduct research to find out whether increased utilization of internet and social media causes sleep deprivation. The hypothesis of the study was as follows:
Hypothesis: Increased utilization of internet and social media causes sleep deprivation.
The dependent variable will be sleep deprivation, while the independent variable will be utilization of social media and internet. To test the hypothesis, I will use an experimental research design. To test the hypothesis, I will recruit college students, specifically my peers, as the research subjects. Social media and internet use will b a ratio variable. I will manipulate the total time of social media and internet use by assigning subjects into two groups, excessive utilization of social media and the internet and moderate/acceptable utilization of social media and the internet. To assign subjects to groups, a random assignment will be used. Random assignment is the procedure of randomly assigning research participants to experimental and control groups. This approach will be preferred to ensure that the two groups are similar to each other.
I will randomly select ten participants for the excessive utilization of social media and the internet and ten participants for the acceptable use of social media and the internet. In the excessive use of social media groups, participants will be asked to use social media and the internet up to at least 12 midnight. Since most college students are known to utilize social media and the internet until late hours, for the control condition, that is the moderate use of social media and internet use; participants will be allowed to use social media and the internet up to 8 PM latest. Sleep deprivation will be measured using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). The ESS is frequently employed in the field of sleep medicine. The test asks you to score your propensity to doze off in a series of eight situations on a scale from 0 (no likelihood of dozing off) to 3 (high chance of dozing off). Since I will not be conducting a correlational study, I will not measure or control for any variable. Participants will then rate their likeliness to doze off, which will indicate their likelihood of being deprived of sleep.
It is expected that increased social media and internet use will result in sleep deprivation. This is because related studies have shown that increased use of social media and the internet is associated with EDS and insomnia, which are caused by sleep deprivation (Bhat et al., 2018). If results show that increased use of social media and the internet causes sleep deprivation, this means that we will accept the hypothesis of the study and conclude that increased social media and internet use cause sleep deprivation. The findings of the study will add to the scope of literature relating to the effects of increased social media and internet use.
Bhat, S., Pinto-Zipp, G., Upadhyay, H., & Polos, P. G. (2018). “To sleep, perchance to tweet”: in-bed electronic social media use and its associations with insomnia, daytime sleepiness, mood, and sleep duration in adults. Sleep Health, 4(2), 166-173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2017.12.004Brown, J., & Makker, H. K. (2020). An approach to excessive daytime sleepiness in adults. BMJ, 368. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1047