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‘Nomophobia’ or fear of being without a phone affects sleep health in college students: Study

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 28, 2020

A higher form of nomophobia severely impacted students’ sleeping patterns and overall sleep health

89 per cent of college students involved in the study had moderate or severe nomophobia

“Nomophobia,” the fear of being out of mobile phone contact is becoming more prevalent in college students and can be associated with poor sleep health, according to a new study.

Preliminary results of the study show that 89 per cent of the college students involved in the study had moderate or severe nomophobia.

A higher form of nomophobia severely impacted students’ sleeping patterns and overall sleep health.

“We found that college students who experience more ‘nomophobia’ were also more likely to experience sleepiness and poorer sleep hygiene such as long naps and inconsistent bed and wake times,” said lead author Jennifer Peszka, PhD, professor of psychology at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.

“Because our study suggests a connection between nomophobia and poorer sleep, it is interesting to consider what the implications will be if nomophobia severity continues to increase,” she said.

The correlation between nomophobia and sleep health can be an important factor in terms of sleep hygiene recommendations.

“Most participants experienced moderate to severe nomophobia with greater nomophobia associated with greater sleepiness, avolition, and poorer sleep hygiene. Nomophobia is likely to be an important consideration when treating sleep disorders and/or making any sleep hygiene recommendations,” reads the research abstract published online.

Curtail bedtime phone usage

“The recommendation to curtail bedtime phone use, which is meant to improve sleep and seems rather straightforward, might need adjustment or consideration for these individuals,” said Peszka.

The study involved 327 university students with a mean age of 20 years who completed multiple questionnaires, including the Nomophobia Questionnaire, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and the Sleep Hygiene Index.

The research will be presented as a poster August 28-30 during Virtual SLEEP 2020.

 

Published on August 28, 2020

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