Examining Human-Smartphone Interaction as a Proxy for Circadian Rhythm in Patients With Insomnia: Cross-Sectional Study

Chen Lin, I. Ming Chen, Hai Hua Chuang, Zih Wen Wang, Hsiao Han Lin, Yu Hsuan Lin

研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

3 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Background: The sleep and circadian rhythm patterns associated with smartphone use, which are influenced by mental activities, might be closely linked to sleep quality and depressive symptoms, similar to the conventional actigraphy-based assessments of physical activity. Objective: The primary objective of this study was to develop app-defined circadian rhythm and sleep indicators and compare them with actigraphy-derived measures. Additionally, we aimed to explore the clinical correlations of these indicators in individuals with insomnia and healthy controls. Methods: The mobile app “Rhythm” was developed to record smartphone use time stamps and calculate circadian rhythms in 33 patients with insomnia and 33 age- and gender-matched healthy controls, totaling 2097 person-days. Simultaneously, we used standard actigraphy to quantify participants’ sleep-wake cycles. Sleep indicators included sleep onset, wake time (WT), wake after sleep onset (WASO), and the number of awakenings (NAWK). Circadian rhythm metrics quantified the relative amplitude, interdaily stability, and intradaily variability based on either smartphone use or physical activity data. Results: Comparisons between app-defined and actigraphy-defined sleep onsets, WTs, total sleep times, and NAWK did not reveal any significant differences (all P>.05). Both app-defined and actigraphy-defined sleep indicators successfully captured clinical features of insomnia, indicating prolonged WASO, increased NAWK, and delayed sleep onset and WT in patients with insomnia compared with healthy controls. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores were positively correlated with WASO and NAWK, regardless of whether they were measured by the app or actigraphy. Depressive symptom scores were positively correlated with app-defined intradaily variability (β=9.786, SD 3.756; P=.01) and negatively correlated with actigraphy-based relative amplitude (β=–21.693, SD 8.214; P=.01), indicating disrupted circadian rhythmicity in individuals with depression. However, depressive symptom scores were negatively correlated with actigraphy-based intradaily variability (β=–7.877, SD 3.110; P=.01) and not significantly correlated with app-defined relative amplitude (β=–3.859, SD 12.352; P=.76). Conclusions: This study highlights the potential of smartphone-derived sleep and circadian rhythms as digital biomarkers, complementing standard actigraphy indicators. Although significant correlations with clinical manifestations of insomnia were observed, limitations in the evidence and the need for further research on predictive utility should be considered. Nonetheless, smartphone data hold promise for enhancing sleep monitoring and mental health assessments in digital health research.

期刊Journal of Medical Internet Research
出版狀態已出版 - 2023


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