Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 17, 2018

Adolescents’ smartphone use at night, sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms

Rian Kusuma Dewi, Ferry Efendi, Eka Mishbahatul M. Has and Joko Gunawan


Nowadays smartphones are used anywhere and at any time, day or night, by adolescents. Smartphone use, especially at night, is a risk factor for sleep disturbance and depression in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to analyse the correlation between smartphone use at night, sleep disturbance and depression symptoms in adolescents. This cross-sectional study analysed the data from 714 students in Surabaya, who were selected by using a simple random sampling technique. The independent variable was smartphone usage at night while the dependent variable was sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms. The data was collected using three questionnaires: the smartphone usage at night questionnaire, the Insomnia Severity Index questionnaire and the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale questionnaire. The data was then analysed using Spearman’s rho analysis (α < 0.05). The results indicated that there was a relationship between the use of smartphones at night and sleep disturbance in adolescents with a positive correlation (r = 0.374), and that there was a relationship between the use of smartphones at night and depression symptoms in adolescents with a positive correlation (r = 0.360). This study highlights that the excessive use of smartphones during the night may play a significant role in sleep problems and depressive symptoms among teenagers. Adolescents with sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms should be carefully monitored for signs of smartphone addiction. Nurses should improve health education for adolescents to inform them about the positive use of smartphones to prevent sleep disturbance and to minimise depressive symptoms.

  1. Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

  2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest: None declared.

  3. Author Contributions: The study was conducted, analysed, and interpreted by the authors independently. Authors’ contributions were as followed: RKD, FE, and EM carried out the design of the study, collected the data and performed analysis. RKD, FE, and JG drafted manuscript. All authors have reviewed and approved the manuscript prior to submission.

  4. Ethics: The Ethics Committee on Health Research at the Faculty of Nursing at Airlangga University provides a research-appropriateness test. The approval of ethical appropriateness test was given under 544-KEPK on 25th October 2017. In order to maintain the anonymity of participants, researchers provided survey links to students through WhatsApp. Responses were collected through Google Forms without revealing student identity. The opening page contains the explanation of the research objectives and states that survey participation is voluntary, and approval is indicated if the survey is completed and returned.


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Received: 2018-05-14
Accepted: 2018-06-14
Published Online: 2018-11-17

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston