As the countdown to the New Year begins, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about fresh starts and new habits, like reducing digital disruptions before bedtime. A recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that 91% of individuals reported they have lost sleep because they stayed up past their bedtime to binge-watch a TV show. Browsing and buying is also keeping people up at night as 75% of respondents have lost sleep because they stayed up past their bedtime to shop online.
“Bedtime procrastination is a common problem, as people often stay up later than intended while binge-watching a program or shopping online,” said sleep medicine physician Dr. Alexandre Abreu, a spokesperson for the AASM. “It’s important to prioritize sleep so that you can feel good and perform your best throughout the day.”
When having trouble falling asleep, the survey found that half of Americans (50%) watch TV and 45% use their smartphone. More than eight in 10 people (87%) keep their smartphone in the bedroom, often within arm’s reach, making midnight scrolling and late-night binge-watching an enticing habit that can unknowingly compromise sleep duration and quality.
“With so many digital distractions vying for our time, it can be tempting to watch one more episode or scroll through one more viral video, but anything that keeps us from getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night can be harmful to overall health and well-being,” said Abreu.
The AASM recommends the following tips to reduce digital disruptions and achieve a better night of sleep:
- Disconnect from devices at night—Turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime to help prepare for sleep.
- Leave your phone in another room—It’s tempting to go on your phone, so keep it in a separate room at night. If you use your phone for a morning alarm, consider using an alarm clock instead.
- Follow a relaxing nighttime routine—Find something you look forward to doing, like taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book or journaling to help you wind down at the end of the day.
- Have a sleep schedule—Go to bed and get up at the same time on a regular basis and hold yourself to it. Don’t let scrolling stop you from getting your precious hours of sleep.
- Turn off push notifications—If you must have your phone in your bedroom at night, turn off push notifications and sound to avoid distracting alerts.
About the Survey
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine commissioned an online survey of 2,005 adults in the U.S. The overall margin of error fell within +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95%. Fieldwork took place between March 24-29, 2023. Atomik Research is an independent market research agency.
About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the AASM advances sleep care and enhances sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 12,000 accredited sleep centers and individuals, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who care for patients with sleep disorders. As the leader in the sleep field, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.