Using a digital device until it’s time to go to sleep is extremely common in today’s world. In 2015, CivicScience researched which devices are most popular for Americans to use right before going to bed and has since tracked trends and changes in responses:

Compared to 2015, mobile phone and TV usage still are the most popular choices of devices before bed – making up a combined 72% of responses in 2018 and 68% in 2015. While the general trends haven’t drastically changed over the past 3 years, there are several inferences we can make about the most popular devices respondents are connected to before sleeping and how demographics come into play.

Respondents are now slightly less likely not to look at their devices before going to bed

Studies highlighting the harmful effects of using any type of light-emitting screen before bed may be influencing people to stay away from screens altogether. Perhaps the biggest change is that over the past 3 years, more people are consciously choosing not to use any devices before going to sleep. That group has increased by 33%. Still, the vast majority of Americans are still plugged in before bed and that might be tied to digital device addiction:

Reported mobile phone usage before bed increased 16% since 2015 and phones are one of the most popular devices to use up until it’s time to sleep. For people who are addicted to their devices, phones are the most common device used before bed. 70% of those who use their phone before bed say they’re addicted to their digital device. 

The next most common correlation is with computers. Although it’s a relatively unpopular “last device” to use before bed, 63% of people who answered “computer” consider themselves addicted to their digital devices. TVs, on the other hand, while being a popular “last device” choice, don’t seem to correlate with digital device addiction. Only 37% of people who watch TV last before bed consider themselves addicted to devices.

However, those who don’t use devices before going to bed are much less likely not to have a digital device addiction. Only 18% of people who don’t use devices before bed consider themselves addicted. If more people begin to put their devices down before bed, we might see addiction to digital devices decline.

Who’s using a device before bed?  

Since the vast majority of Americans do use devices before bed, who is most likely to use a specific device? Demographics might impact the type of device people typically use before their heads hit the pillow:

Regardless of the many studies that show the range of negative effects of using devices before bed, the vast majority of Americans are still plugged-in until it’s time to sleep. Mobile phones are the most popular choice, especially for Millennials, followed by TV, which is most popular among Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. 

And over the past 3 years, more people are choosing not to use devices before bed at all. Although the change is gradual, time will tell if overall device usage before bed continues to decline.