A Cross-Sectional Examination of the Association between Social Media Use and Sleep among a Sample of U.S. Army Soldiers

Christopher G. Hill, Matthew R. Beymer, Brantley P. Jarvis, Jacob D. Smith, Jerrica N. Nichols, Vincent Mysliwiec, Joseph A. Pecko, Eren Youmans Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: In the United States (U.S.), approximately 35% of adults sleep less than 7 hours per night. The relationship between social media use and insufficient sleep has not thoroughly been examined among adults. The purpose of this study was to determine if social media use is associated with insufficient sleep among a sample of U.S. Army Soldiers. Methods: This study surveyed 9,052 U.S. Soldiers in 2018 via a self-administered online questionnaire. Using multivariable logistic regression, we examined the association between social media use (<38 hours vs. ≥38 hours per week) and insufficient sleep, controlling for demographic and behavioral covariates. Results: Overall, 54.9% of Soldiers reported insufficient sleep. There was no significant relationship between excessive social media use and insufficient sleep in the multivariable logistic regression (OR: 1.03; CI: 0.87-1.23). The covariates of sex, race/ethnicity, rank, hazardous alcohol consumption, anxiety, and depression were significantly associated with insufficient sleep. Soldiers who reported symptoms of anxiety were more than twice as likely (OR: 2.11; CI: 1.65-2.70) to report insufficient sleep than Soldiers without signs of anxiety. Additionally, Soldiers who reported depressive symptoms were 85% (OR: 1.85; CI: 1.44-2.37) more likely to experience insufficient sleep than Soldiers without signs of depression. Conclusion: Sufficient sleep is essential to ensuring mission readiness and preventing accidental morbidity and mortality among Soldiers. The findings of this analysis do not suggest a link between extended social media use and insufficient sleep. However, though previously uninvestigated, Soldiers reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression were more likely to experience insufficient sleep compared to unafflicted Soldiers. Therefore developing a culture that encourages Soldiers to seek necessary behavioral health screening and care could be a key primary strategy to promote adequate sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E694-E702
JournalMilitary medicine
Volume185
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 8 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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