There are countless studies linking teens' social media use with depression, but that has advocates wondering if technology might actually be the best way to reach those suffering.
The authors say the sleep disruption is due to young people staying up late to use social media and being woken up by alerts coming in to their phones beside their beds.
In a study analyzing data from almost 11,000 young people in Britain, researchers found that 14-year-old girls were heavier users of social media, with two-fifths of them using it for more than three hours a day, compared with a fifth of boys.
They also completed the Moods and Feelings Questionnaire which is used to screen for symptoms of depression.
For example, almost 40 percent of girls who spent more than five hours a day on apps such as Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp also showed signs of depression, compared with 14.5 percent of boys. While one in 10 boys do not use social media at all, only 4 per cent of girls said the same.
The study suggests that 40% of girls had experienced online harassment or bullying compared to 25% of boys, while 40% of girls reported their sleep often being disrupted compared to 28% of boys. In turn, depressive symptom scores were higher for girls and boys experiencing poor sleep.
Kelly and her colleagues found that 14-year-old girls are heavier social media users than 14-year-old boys.
Compared with boys, girls are more likely to have low self-esteem and body weight dissatisfaction, and be unhappy with their appearance, said the study.
"These findings are highly relevant to current policy development on guidelines for the safe use of social media and calls on industry to more tightly regulate hours of social media use for young people", she said in a statement. Half of depressed girls and a quarter of depressed boys said that they suffer from disrupted sleep "most of the time".
"Curfews for use and the overnight removal of mobile devices from bedrooms might be something to consider".
"The sad truth is that people mostly share the positive things about life on social media, without showing the negatives".
The study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), was published online in the journal EClinicalMedicine on Friday.
The Royal Society for Public Health said the study showed it was important to increase the awareness of parents, schools and policy makers on the role of social media in kids' mental health.