Associations of smartphone usage patterns with sleep and mental health symptoms in a clinical cohort receiving virtual behavioral medicine care: a retrospective study

Jonathan Knights, Jacob Shen, Vincent Mysliwiec, Holly DuBois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Objectives: We sought to develop behavioral sleep measures from passively sensed human-smartphone interactions and retrospectively evaluate their associations with sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in a large cohort of real-world patients receiving virtual behavioral medicine care. Methods: Behavioral sleep measures from smartphone data were developed: daily longest period of smartphone inactivity (inferred sleep period [ISP]); 30-day expected period of inactivity (expected sleep period [ESP]); regularity of the daily ISP compared to the ESP (overlap percentage); and smartphone usage during inferred sleep (disruptions, wakefulness during sleep period). These measures were compared to symptoms of sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression using linear mixed-effects modeling. More than 2300 patients receiving standard-of-care virtual mental healthcare across more than 111 000 days were retrospectively analyzed. Results: Mean ESP duration was 8.4 h (SD = 2.3), overlap percentage 75% (SD = 18%) and disrupted time windows 4.85 (SD = 3). There were significant associations between overlap percentage (p < 0.001) and disruptions (p < 0.001) with sleep disturbance symptoms after accounting for demographics. Overlap percentage and disruptions were similarly associated with anxiety and depression symptoms (all p < 0.001). Conclusions: Smartphone behavioral measures appear useful to longitudinally monitor sleep and benchmark depressive and anxiety symptoms in patients receiving virtual behavioral medicine care. Patterns consistent with better sleep practices (i.e. greater regularity of ISP, fewer disruptions) were associated with lower levels of reported sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberzpad027
JournalSLEEP Advances
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mental health disorders
  • mhealth
  • passive sensing
  • sleep disturbances
  • sleep regularity
  • smartphone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Internal Medicine

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