I didn’t know the severity of smartphone addiction until early this year. My insomnia came little by little.
Sometime this year, I had so much trouble sleeping. When I eventually get to sleep, I sleep for a very short time that I begin to wonder about the Biblical “no sleep for the wicked”. But I am no wicked person. What exactly could be making me loose sleep? I spent a lot of time ruminating on this until I stumbled on an article on smartphone addiction and insomnia in the Journal of Behavioural Addictions by Akadémia.
The relationship between smartphone addiction and insomnia.
Now, what is smartphone addiction?
“The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines “Addiction” as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social, and spiritual manifestations. Such dysfunction is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behavior. However, Smartphone addiction is a type of behavioral addiction that can also be destructive to social life beyond the Smartphone devices. Although not officially considered as a type of addiction, it is now prevalent worldwide, causing trauma and anxiety, among other symptoms”.
Smartphone addiction is mostly common among young people. Apart from a faux introverted lifestyle due to smartphone overuse, there are so many other reasons you should checkmate your use of the smartphone. Before I go on, I would first talk about how to easily know if one is suffering from smartphone addiction or not.
Test for Smartphone Addiction
How do I know if my insomnia is smartphone induced? Below are a few symptoms of smartphone addiction.
Finding solace in the smartphone– This may sound like a very mild thing. You know, making a smartphone your source of comfort when every one seems to step on your nerves. This triggers faux personality issues. It is here that you find a once extroverted person suddenly become an introvert. The person, the smartphone and addiction form a Trinity.
Depression and increased anxiety when a smartphone suffers network issues or any related problems– One thing with smartphone addiction is this constant desire to always be active on the smartphone. The social media and its enticing content also is linked to this. I have seen a lot of people lose worthy relationships because of irritability associated with smartphone addiction.
Losing track of time while on the smartphone– My friend Jenny once said “two hours on my phone feels just like thirty minutes”.
Preoccupation with the smartphone– According to a study carried out by PEW Research Center, 67% of smartphone users have admitted to checking their phones for calls or messages when it didn’t ring or vibrateFrom the article, signs and symptoms of cell phone addiction published by PsychGuides.com, An American Addiction Centers Resource.
This is what happens when the subconscious has been trained to pick up anything at all relating to the smartphone. These are but a few symptoms of smartphone addiction. Taking a smartphone compulsion test is highly recommended. Below is a link for a very good one.
Physical effects associated with smartphone addiction.
- Digital Eye strain— Experts say the healthiest number of hours one could spend peering at the phone screen and not hurt the eyes is just two hours.
- Neck Pain or “Text Neck” —This results from bending the neck to look into a phone screen for long.
- Male infertility — Studies have linked smartphone radiation to a very low sperm account in males as well as a decrease in sperm motility.
- Increased car accidents— So many people think they can multitask with the smartphone. This is why you see people driving and making use of the smartphone. The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes every year is as a result of smartphone usage while driving. https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html
How does your smartphone steal your sleep and leaves you with insomnia?
Smartphone addiction and insomnia go hand in hand. Below are various ways smartphone addiction affects sleep.
Blue Light Technology —
Blue light is not really new. It is the light you see in the early hours of the morning, signalling to your body that it is time to be awake. Time to commence the day’s activities. Smartphones emit blue light continuously. Blue light hinders the brain from producing enough melatonin, a hormone that helps the brain with circadian rhythms and sleep timing.
Poor sleeping habits is not the only thing associated with smartphone addiction. Others are; depression, anxiety, inability to learn, eye defects as well as different forms of cancers.
How can one deal with smartphone Insomnia?
Strict therapy is an effective way to deal with smartphone insomnia. But then, therapy will only work when a smartphone insomniac takes the big decision to break out of the shackles of smartphone insomnia. One of the little ways to do this is :
- More exposure to natural light.
- Not using the smartphone within the first two to three hours after waking up in the morning.
- Investing in real human relationships.
- Going to sleep with a sleeping mask.
- Setting a specific time for smartphone usage and sticking to it.