Your Cell Phone May Be Giving You Insomnia

Being addicted to your cell phone increases your chances of experiencing insomnia, a new study has found.

Previous studies have shown that excessive cell phone use contributes to sleep issues, and new research reaffirms the connection between the two while also suggesting that physical activity may be an effective antidote.

The study, published in Frontiers Public Health, notes that while it is widely acknowledged that mobile phone addiction is a risk factor for insomnia symptoms, the precise relationship between the two — particularly among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when young people turned to their cell phones more than ever — remains misunderstood.

The researchers therefore set out to better understand the relationship between mobile phone addiction and insomnia by analyzing the responses to an online questionnaire from 301 college students in China. They focused on the potential correlation between mobile phone addiction and insomnia, as well as the mediating effect of social anxiety and the moderating effect of physical activity.

Ultimately, they found a positive correlation between mobile phone addiction and social anxiety, mobile phone addiction and insomnia, and social anxiety and insomnia — suggesting that social anxiety could be a mediating factor between cell phone addiction and insomnia.

In other words, mobile phone addiction may lead to social anxiety, which then produces insomnia symptoms.

The researchers found a negative correlation between physical activity and social anxiety and mobile phone addiction, however, suggesting that exercise could be a moderating factor and an effective way to reduce the negative impacts of cell phone use on sleep.

“Engaging in physical activity could help people manage their negative emotions, such as loneliness and stress, and also enhance their psychological capital in terms of their mental health,” the authors wrote.

The authors note that cell phones and social media provided a number of benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering social support and connection during a time of isolation. However they say the negative effects of cell phone addiction must also be explored and acknowledged, particularly when it comes to its impact on sleep.

The authors note that social anxiety could only partially account for the relationship between mobile phone addiction and insomnia, so other indicators, such as interpersonal distress, should also be considered when examining the mediation role between them.

“In summary, our research results indicate that increasing physical activity and reducing social anxiety can improve insomnia symptoms among college students,” the authors wrote. “This study advances the knowledge of how mobile phone addiction raises the likelihood of experiencing insomnia symptoms, and also implies that upping physical activity level could lessen the harmful impacts from mobile phone addiction.”

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Olufunmi Bamidele
prefix 20 days ago
I found this note very helpful, ‘cos it’s affecting me already.Thanks so much for the remedy and candid advice given.I’ll definitely keep up with that.