The usage of smartphones has increased rapidly in recent years, and this has brought about addiction. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between smartphone use severity and sleep quality, depression, and anxiety in university students.
In total, 319 university students (203 females and 116 males; mean age = 20.5 ± 2.45) were included in the study. Participants were divided into the following three groups: a smartphone non-user group (n = 71, 22.3%), a low smartphone use group (n = 121, 37.9%), and a high smartphone use group (n = 127, 39.8%). All participants were evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory; moreover, participants other than those in the smartphone non-user group were also assessed with the Smartphone Addiction Scale.
The findings revealed that the Smartphone Addiction Scale scores of females were significantly higher than those of males. Depression, anxiety, and daytime dysfunction scores were higher in the high smartphone use group than in the low smartphone use group. Positive correlations were found between the Smartphone Addiction Scale scores and depression levels, anxiety levels, and some sleep quality scores.
The results indicate that depression, anxiety, and sleep quality may be associated with smartphone overuse. Such overuse may lead to depression and/or anxiety, which can in turn result in sleep problems. University students with high depression and anxiety scores should be carefully monitored for smartphone addiction.