You’ve likely seen the symptoms—perhaps even from yourself. Walking down the road (or crossing the street) while unaware of your surroundings because your nose is buried in your phone. Or how about carrying on a conversation with someone sitting next to you with your eyes glued to your screen? 

These are both signs of nomophobia—commonly known as cellphone-related anxiety.

Bushwick Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has more on the signs and ways you can beat it

What Exactly is Nomophobia?

Specifically, nomophobia relates to anxiety over not having access to your phone or being in an area where phone service is inaccessible. 

How Common Is It?

Not surprisingly, it’s more common in young people who have had a smartphone as a part of their routine even since most can remember. A study published this year in the journal Sleep found that 90% of over 300 university students surveyed had moderate to severe nomophobia. 

What Are Some Other Signs?

In addition to those mentioned above, people report that nomophobia can disrupt their sleep patterns, as they check email, texts, or social media sites after the lights go out and they lay down for bed. Another sign is if you get unnaturally stressed if you misplaced your phone or left it at home while running an errand or going out to eat. 

How to Help Break the Habit

At night, be sure to set the “do not disturb” function on your phone. This will keep you from being awakened by notifications that might come in overnight or early in the morning. Most phones will allow a phone call to go through if someone calls twice in a row, so there’s no need to worry about missing an emergency. Once are comfortable with this, you can work on setting your phone away from the nightstand or even keep it in a different room overnight.

You can also consider leaving your phone at home if you’re not expecting to use it to contact someone, need directions to somewhere, etc. This is even easier if you’re going out with a significant other or a friend because they could bring their phone that you could use in an emergency, and you won’t be glued to your phone. 

To learn more about Bushwick Park Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit https://bushwick-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org/