Media use can affect sleep. However, research regarding various populations is sparse. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between media use directly before bedtime and various sleep parameters in patients of a psychosomatic rehabilitation clinic.
Patients from a German psychosomatic rehabilitation clinic were tested regarding subjective sleep quality and insomnia symptoms based on questionnaires such as the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Eligible patients also completed an additional sleep log over a period of 1 week. A total of 347 insomnia patients were enrolled, with a mean age of 49.77 years (range 22–64 years; median = 52 years). 57.5% of the patients were 50 years or older.
Analysis showed that media use and various sleep diary parameters such as total sleep time (r = −0.386, p = 0.042; rTST2 = 0.149) and sleep efficiency (r = −0.507, p = 0.006; rSE2 = 0.257) were significantly associated. In detail, more media consumption was associated with less total sleep time and a lower sleep efficiency. The same result was found for media use and sleep efficiency on weekdays (r = −0.544, p = 0.002; rSE2 = 0.296), but not for other sleep parameters. However, media use time and subjective sleep quality were not significantly correlated, r = −0.055, p = 0.768.
This study, which is the first to examine the relation between media use and sleep in patients of a psychosomatic rehabilitation clinic, suggests a significant association between media use and sleep duration as well as sleep efficiency. However, more research is needed to investigate the relationship between media use and sleep in more detail, to increase patients’ quality of life and to incorporate these findings into the daily life of clinicians and therapists as well as into sleep hygiene education and sleep trainings.