New Study Reveals the Apps Keeping Americans Up at Night


So, you’ve had a long day and it is time for bed. Do you go straight to sleep or reach for your phone, ready to scroll? Well, according to a new poll from online mattress retailer MattressNextDay, chances are that you’re one of the 68% of Americans who use their phone within an hour of going to sleep on a nightly basis. The same study also reveals that 39% of Americans are “Obsessed with scrolling apps on their phone before they go to sleep.” So, what are almost two-fifths of people looking at? Well, that depends. During the week, YouTube takes the top spot for screentime, with an average of 5.97 hours spent on the app between Monday and Friday.

Bedtime Phone Usage Impact. The same study also reveals that 39% of Americans are “Obsessed with scrolling apps on their phone before they go to sleep.”

WhatsApp and TikTok have the lowest usage during the workweek with 2.26 hours and 3.71 hours, respectively. However, those numbers increase dramatically on the weekend, with TikTok experiencing an increase of 88% on the weekend to 6.97 hours between Saturday and Sunday, with WhatsApp use increasing 195% to 6.66 hours. YouTube increases modestly, up 9% to 6.53 hours.

“Any app where you can watch videos is the most distracting. For example, TikTok’s algorithm shows you content based on things you’ve watched before, so it learns what you like to keep you on the platform longer. That’s why spending hours scrolling is so easy because every video is tailored to you. YouTube is also distracting because the content is in a longer form,” Kenny Metham, senior influencer marketing manager for connective3, says.

When asked the reasons for the hours of scrolling, survey respondents report trying to wind down (56%), responding to messages (51%) or having FOMO (29%). While the majority might think spending time on the apps is helping them ease into sleep, some medical experts note it might be more harmful than helpful.

“It’s important to not use any blue light devices more than two hours before bed as they inhibit the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Phone usage and constant interruptions during sleep can lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation,” Dr. Deborah Lee, formerly a lead clinician at NHS, who is now a health and medical writer for Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, says. “For the best effects on sleep, get up at the same time every morning and flood the bedroom with natural light. Ideally, go for a walk as the brain needs to appreciate the difference between daylight and darkness. This helps to support your Circadian rhythms and natural production of melatonin as the light fades in the evenings.”

To read more revelations from the survey, visit