Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Internet Addiction and Daytime Sleepiness among Professionals in India: A Web-Based Survey

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Internet Addiction and Daytime Sleepiness among Professionals in India: A Web-Based Survey

Article excerpt

Byline: Lokesh. Singh, K. Hara Suchandra, Amrit. Pattajoshi, Spoorthy. Mamidipalli, Huma. Kamal, Sharda. Singh, Bhoomika. Sachacher, Varun. Mehta

Background: The likelihood of the relation between Internet overuse and comorbid psychiatric conditions is on the rise. However, sleep disturbances are common psychiatric symptoms associated with internet overuse. Our objective was to examine the association of Internet overuse with excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep problems in professionals from India. Materials and Methods: This was a web-based cross-sectional study through a predesigned questionnaire which included various professional groups. The information included in the questionnaire was sociodemographic details, Young's internet addiction test (IAT) and Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS). Results: About 1.0% of total sample population had severe internet addiction whereas 13% were in the range of moderate internet addiction and the mean score on IAT was found to be 32 (standard deviation [SD] = 16.42). The mean duration of total night time sleep (5.61 [+ or -] 1.17) is significantly lower in participants with moderate and severe internet addiction (6.98 [+ or -] 1.12) compared to those with no and mild internet addiction. The mean scores of ESS were significantly higher in individuals with moderate and severe addiction (M = 10.64, SD = 4.79). We found that sleepiness while in 5 of the situations such as driving a car (?2 = 27.67; P < 0.001), sitting and reading (?2 = 13.6; P = 0.004), traveling in a car (?2 = 15.09; P = 0.002), afternoon rest time (?2 = 15.75; P = 0.001), and postlunch quiet time (?2 = 24.09; P < 0.001), predicted membership to moderate-to-severe internet addiction, even after controlling for the confounding effects of age and gender. Conclusions: This study shows an association between Internet overuse, excessive daytime sleepiness, and other sleep problems. Clinicians should be proactive and conscious in scrutinizing the patients for internet addiction and its consequences.


Internet is no longer just used for educational and research purposes unlike in the past. Over the years because of accessibility and affordability, the number of users has increased day-by-day. With 2 billion global users, in India, there were a predicted total of 354 million internet users in 2015.[1] Adolescents and young adults are especially at increased risk for internet addiction and its consequences compared to the elderly.[2]

Internet addiction has been defined as 'excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges or behaviors regarding computer use and internet access that lead to impairment or distress.'[3] Although there are controversies over use of the term 'addition,'[4] and many prefer to use terms - 'problematic internet use,'[5] 'excessive internet use,'[6] etc., all of these terms convey similar implications. Overall, this condition is defined as the inability of individuals to control the internet use, resulting in marked distress and/or functional impairment in daily life.[7],[8],[9]

Since the time Goldberg[10] introduced the term 'internet addiction,' there is growing interest in this field. Multitude of studies conducted till date studied the prevalence, risk factors and consequences of internet addiction.[11],[12] However, the gray zone still persists as it has not been given place in the existing classificatory systems such as DSM-5. The only behavioral addiction considered in the DSM-5 is the internet gaming disorder under conditions requiring further study.[13]

With the increase in time spent in the internet use various studies showed relation between growing internet use and comorbid psychiatric issues such as loneliness, depression, harm avoidance, anxiety symptoms, impulsivity, and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder.[14],[15],[16] Furthermore, individuals with excessive internet usage have less time to sleep and feel tired more often than not. …

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