"To sleep, perchance to tweet": in-bed electronic social media use and its associations with insomnia, daytime sleepiness, mood, and sleep duration in adults

Sleep Health. 2018 Apr;4(2):166-173. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2017.12.004. Epub 2018 Jan 17.


Objectives: The use of mobile device-based electronic social media (ESM) in bed is rapidly becoming commonplace, with potentially adverse impacts on sleep and daytime functioning. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which in-bed ESM use is associated with insomnia, daytime sleepiness, mood, and sleep duration in adults.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study conducted among 855 hospital employees and university students (mean age, 43.6years; 85% female) via an online questionnaire.

Results: Nearly 70% of participants indulged in in-bed ESM use, with nearly 15% spending an hour or more a night doing so. The degree of in-bed ESM use did not vary by gender, but higher levels of in-bed ESM use were seen in younger and middle-aged than elderly participants. Compared with participants with no in-bed ESM use and controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity, participants with high in-bed ESM use were more likely to have insomnia, anxiety, and short sleep duration on weeknights, but not depression or daytime sleepiness; low in-bed ESM use only increased the likelihood of short sleep duration on weeknights. In-bed ESM use by a bed partner did not have an adverse association with sleep or mood.

Conclusions: In-bed ESM use is associated with sleep and mood dysfunction in adults. These findings are of relevance to clinicians, therapists, and the public at large, as they suggest that limitation of in-bed ESM use is a potential interventional strategy in the overall management of sleep hygiene and mental health.

Keywords: Daytime sleepiness; Electronic social media; Insomnia; Mood; Sleep; Texting.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Beds*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep*
  • Sleepiness*
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult