Checking Facebook, Twitter, and email may be harder to resist than vices such as smoking and drinking, according to new research.

The study also found that the lure of social media may be even more powerful than cravings for sex or sleep.

"With cigarettes and alcohol there are more costs – long-term as well as monetary – and the opportunity may not always be the right one. So, even though giving in to media desires is certainly less consequential, the frequent use may still 'steal' a lot of people's time."

The full report will soon be published in the journal Psychological Science.