TikTok Trends Do Not Hold the Answers to Sleep Problems

Despite sleep being a crucial factor to both physical and mental wellness, more than 50 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. With such a high number, many have turned to social media strategies to aid with their sleep complications.

According to a recent poll by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, more than 40% of respondents admit to experimenting with sleep-related viral fads like mouth taping or bringing more plants to the bedroom. While some users might be experimenting with trends for fun, others are searching for effective remedies for sleep issues.

Insomnia that interferes with daily activities affects 9% to 15% of the adult population in the United States. It may be crippling to begin the day without a restful night's sleep with busy jobs and school schedules.

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The temptation of quick cures and shortcuts to improved sleep is evident, according to John Saito, a sleep medicine specialist and spokesperson for the AASM. He says this is because of our fast-paced lifestyles.

He goes on to say that it is crucial to approach sleep using evidence-based tactics that are demonstrated to be effective and address the underlying causes of sleep issues rather than following advice from unreliable sources.

The short-form video-sharing app TikTok has begun displaying user-generated sleep tips and trending sleep hacks. More than ten percent of individuals have experimented with the risky "mouth taping" craze, and 18 percent have attempted the suggestion to sleep for 90 minutes at a time.

Approximately 15% of respondents admitted to live streaming themselves while asleep, and 19% said they had witnessed others do so. Baby boomers are four times less likely than younger, social media-savvy groups like Generation Z to try a popular sleep fad.

At best, these viral trends are unproven, but at worst – like mouth taping – they can be extremely dangerous. Getting seven or more hours of healthy sleep each night is the best lifehack for overall health and wellness.

- Saito

The AASM offers the following advice to promote good sleep hygiene and raise overall sleep quality:

  • Even on weekends and during holidays, rise out of bed at the same hour every day.
  • Decide on a bedtime that will allow you to sleep for at least seven to eight hours.
  • Go to bed only when you are truly tired.
  • Refrain from technology in bed.
  • Create a peaceful nighttime ritual.
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