Are you suffering from FOMO – that is, Fear Of Missing Out? Research shows that a growing number of young people are, with worrying consequences for their sleep and schoolwork. Read the blog post to find out more.


Reading text


posted 2 hours ago by Mr Braddock, Sixth Form teacher

Everybody knows how important it is for students to get a good night’s sleep every night. You aren’t able to do your best and keep up with all of your responsibilities unless you sleep well. I’m sure you already know that you should go to bed at a reasonable hour. Most experts agree that the optimum number of hours is eight, and this has been accepted as common sense for as long as I can remember. However, I was young once and I know that most of you get much less sleep than that – and in some cases it will be affecting your schoolwork.

I read an interesting article in a teachers’ magazine recently. They did a study of 848 students in Wales. Worryingly, the results showed that teenagers are facing a new problem. They may go to bed and get up at appropriate times but a growing number are waking up in the middle of the night, not to use the bathroom or have a snack but because of a new phenomenon: FOMO – fear of missing out!

According to the article, schoolchildren are suffering because of a growing trend to wake up during the night to check social media. Afraid of missing a comment or opportunity to take part in a chat, teenagers are waking at all times of the night, going online and getting involved. All this when they should be sound asleep.

Experts are worried about this growing trend and the report reveals some worrying statistics that I’d like to share with you:

  • 23% of 12 to 15-year-olds wake up nearly every night to use social media. Another 15% wake up at night once a week for the same reason.
  • One in three students are constantly tired and unable to function to their full capacity.
  • Students who use social media during the night are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

So, I’d like to ask you to be responsible when it comes to social media. Be brave! Switch off your devices at night. The world won’t end and your social media will be waiting to greet you in the morning! I give you my word that you won't have missed anything important.

Total votes: 274
Language level: 


Do you think FOMO is common where you are?


Dreamyoverflow's picture
Dreamyoverflow 1 August, 2018 - 17:57

Yes i think it is common where I live because everyone I have met is obssessed with checking their social media wether you are sitting in a resturant or in a amusement park they will always have their phones in their hand to check social media. I recently removed social media from my phone it was quite hard because I checked social media everyday I almost felt like a addict but now when i removed it I feel much more free and I have much more free time which I apreciate really much.

0 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 8 June, 2018 - 11:32

Hi brett, Thanks for letting us know and sorry about that. The problem should be fixed now. Can you see it now? Best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

0 users have voted.
SLMT's picture
SLMT 6 April, 2018 - 13:35

These days,Fomo is the common case in my country too. One of my friends also suffer from it.She slept at my home last month during summer school break.I always hear some noise while I was sleeping .Because of the noice,I woke up immediately.And I saw my friend is using internet in the middle of the night.I asked her what are you looking for that time.She said she is surfing internet and looking her idols’ social media accounts.I was so surprised to see her.That May be the reason she always doze off during school time and always miss school bus.She is definitely the victim of FOMO.How scare it is.

2 users have voted.
steleaby's picture
steleaby 14 August, 2017 - 17:23

I had never heard of "Fear of missing" out before today but I think it's common in France. Indeed many of my friend are on social networks in the middle of the night .
For my part , I always turn off my phone and my laptop because I heard that some waves of wifi can give cancer or stuff like this . BUT OBVIOUSLY I agree with the survey and it's something very impotant so I think that awarness courses about it should be given at school

20 users have voted.
QueenPinkBluebel's picture
QueenPinkBluebel 3 August, 2017 - 14:42

I have never heard of the FOMO until today, and I think that it's common where I live. I was shocked when I read this text. It's really dangerous to interrupt your sleep just for checking. Luckily, I switch my off my phone every night, not because I could use it, but because it sends waves which affect the brain, and if I want to turn on the alarm clock, I put it in the airplane mode so I'm sure that no wave will propagate.

22 users have voted.
SC902_'s picture
SC902_ 25 July, 2017 - 16:23

Well I haven't been sleeping for 5 days to be honest. School and projects still go well *don't try this at home*

22 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 26 July, 2017 - 15:10

Hi SC902! Sorry to hear you're not sleeping well. It's good to know you can do OK at school even if you don't sleep well for a few days. Do you know why you're not sleeping? Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

23 users have voted.
fay4's picture
fay4 26 May, 2017 - 10:28

I don't think we have this case in Egypt but we have worse .. Moat teens nowadays don't sleep at night *like me for example* you find the most active hashtags at the middle of the night also youtubers post their videos around this time
So I think we're turning into night-owls persons soon

27 users have voted.
TheMoroccan's picture
TheMoroccan 22 February, 2017 - 22:01

Also here in Morocco , yiu'll find a lot of users of social medias , and specially it wasn't here in Morocco , the social medias dominated just recently

49 users have voted.
sandra1's picture
sandra1 14 November, 2016 - 19:22

I think FOMO is common in Poland, but also other countries. many particularly young people aren't able to live without the phone. Teenagers before going to bed are using phones till late, and then their organism cannot fall asleep. Such persons are then not get enough sleep and have a bad temper.

68 users have voted.
englishmeow's picture
englishmeow 20 May, 2016 - 22:59

I don't think it is that common in the US, where I live. But yes, people access social media and social games a lot!

90 users have voted.
emilio14's picture
emilio14 18 May, 2016 - 23:44

Yes, I agree with this study, because this phenomenon is very common in Mexico, and all the world

90 users have voted.
sona's picture
sona 9 March, 2016 - 17:44

Yes,I think FOMO is common in my country and in fact it excist in every country,I think. However, I am not one of these people,but suprisingly I am always asleep in my class and you can find me yawning during the lesson a millions time. This happens even with I sleep 9 hours. Maybe this is because I sleep too much,but I am fed up with this. Although,sleep is my favourite part of my life :)

90 users have voted.