technology use and sleep disorders in the u.s. (2020 data)

At the end of July, Sleep Standards team launched a survey of 1062 participants across the United States. Our main purpose is to get better insights into the two-sided impacts of technology use on sleep disorders.

I. About The Research

At the end of July 2020, Sleep Standards team conducted a national survey of 1062 participants across the United States. The primary objectives of our research are to get in-depth insights into the connection of technology use and sleep disorders in both negative and positive aspects.

Throughout this research, certain charts and data are present. On questions which enable multiple answers, the percentage of responses may be higher than the sum of total survey. The survey were weighted to be representative of five distinct age groups, including Generation Z (ages under 25) – 22.3%, Millennials (ages 26-40) – 44.8%, Generation X (ages 41-55) – 23.8%, Baby Boomers (ages 56-76) – 8.9% and Silent Generation (ages over 76) – 0.2%.

II. Key Findings

0 %
of Americans with sleep disorders reported having associated with technology devices before going to bed per night

Americans under the age of 25 are at the highest potential of having sleep disorders, reportedly up to 73.4%. The research also shows that sleeping problems are seen in 69.3% of Americans aged from 26 to 40 and in 66.5% of people aged from 41 to 55. Surprisingly, there’s a slight increase when it comes to the group of those above 56 years old, with 69.4% of respondents diagnosed with sleep disorders.

Up to eight in ten Americans (76.5%) living in urban area are suffering from sleep disorders. Sleep disorders are also present in 70.2% of suburban citizens and in 73% of rural citizens.

Roughly 81.9% of shift workers have sleep disorders while the number is 73% and 72% for full-time workers and freelancers, respectively.

0 hours
are the average time of sleep Americans with sleep disorders get per night
0 hours
are the maximum time Americans with sleep disorders spend in front of bright screen per day

Common Activities Americans Mostly Do Within 30 Minutes Before Going To Bed Per Night:

  • The bloom of tech innovations leads to a high increase of tech devices’ usage in our daily life. With 70.2% of votes (746 respondents), watching TV is the most favorite activity that Americans do within 30 minutes before going to bed.
  • Approximately 59.4% of votes belong to checking social media while checking emails gets 31.8% of votes.
  • Playing video games is a popular form of bedtime activities, reaching 32.9% of votes.
  • Apart from major tech device’s use, respondents also reported performing other activities that don’t involve technology, specifically including reading books (32.7%) and cuddling (18.6%).
  • Even though overall cuddling is performed, it should be noted that only 1.2% of Americans over 56 years old tend to do that, while 71.2% of Millennials (26-40 years old) cuddle before going to bed per night.

Watching Television

Checking Social Media

Reading Books

Playing Video Games

Checking Emails

Cuddling

Bedtime Use Of Tech Devices

Participants were asked which tech device they mostly used in the hour before going to bed per night. Results show that 57.8% of Americans use a cell phone, more often than a television (18.5%) and computer or laptop (14.2%).

Common Types of Sleep Disorder

  • High proportion of Americans having Insomnia (64.3%) reflects their poor sleep quality and somehow a clear consequence of daily pressure.
  • Sleep Apnea, on the other hand, is the second common sleep disorder that 14% of Americans are suffering from.
  • The list also sees the presence of other common sleep disorders, including Sleep Paralysis (7.6%), Parasomnias (6.7%), Restless Legs Syndrome (5.2%) and Narcolepsy (2.2%).

Insomnia

64.3%

Sleep Apnea

14%

Sleep Paralysis

7.6%

Parasomnias

6.7%

Restless Legs Syndrome

5.2%

Narcolepsy

2.2%

Technology And Natural Remedies In Sleep Disorders' Treatment

  • Applying technology to sleep disorders’ treatment has been here for decades and a number of respondents use technology to treat their sleep problems.
  • 33.6% of Americans chose switching to smart bed and mattress as a solution for their sleep problems while other 32.7% of participants seeked support from sleep apps.
  • Sleep tech devices, specifically wearables and fitness trackers also drove some adoptions, with 15.4% of votes.
  • Among 107 respondents who reported having sleep apnea, 15.8% of them used CPAP machine to treat their disorder while 41% of them decided to go with sleeping pills.

Sleeping Pills

Other medications

Herbal Remedies

sleep applications

Smart bed and mattress replacement

Wearable and fitness trackers

  • Regardless of various sleep disorder types, sleeping pill always pops up in people’s mind as the first option. 51.2% of Americans reported using sleeping pills to get away of their sleep issues while 47.5% tried other medications.
Sleeping Sheep
  • All respondents with sleep disorders were asked whether they had ever used sheep counting method to treat their sleep disorders and 23.3% of them confirmed “yes”.

Consider Technology Use As Treatment Of Sleep Disorders

Sleep and Meditation Apps

35.9%

Environmental Monitoring Devices

34.1%

Smart Beds and Mattresses

19.7%

Wearables and Fitness Trackers

7.1%

  • 35.9% of Americans would prefer to use sleep and meditation apps to treat their sleep disorders while only 7.1% of Americans would opt for wearables and fitness trackers.
  • While 34.1% of respondents with sleep disorders would consider environmental monitoring devices like air purifier, light emitting devices, temperature controlling devices for their next purchase.
  • Smart beds and mattresses are the third wanted option according to 19.7% of Americans.

III. Methodology And Limitations

To collect the data shown above, we surveyed 1062 Americans using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. An attention-checker question was included to ensure the participants did not mindlessly answer questions.

Because all the data was self-reported, issues such as telescoping and over-or-under exaggeration can influence responses. Please also note that this survey’s results do not reflect our opinions.

IV. Fair Use Statement

If you know someone who could benefit from our findings, feel free to share this project with them. The graphics and content are available for noncommercial reuse. All we ask is that you link back to this page so that readers get all the necessary information and our contributors receive proper credit.

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