Bedtime, shuteye time and electronic media: sleep displacement is a two-step process

J Sleep Res. 2017 Jun;26(3):364-370. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12510. Epub 2017 Mar 8.


This study argues that going to bed may not be synonymous with going to sleep, and that this fragmentation of bedtime results in a two-step sleep displacement. We separated bedtime (i.e. going to bed) from shuteye time (i.e. attempting to go to sleep once in bed) and assessed the prevalence of electronic media use in both time slots. A convenience sample of 338 adults (aged 18-25 years, 67.6% women) participated in an online survey. Results indicated a gap of 39 min between bedtime and shuteye time, referred to as 'shuteye latency'. Respondents with a shuteye latency of, respectively, ≤30 min, ≤1 or >1 h, were 3.3, 6.1 and 9.3 times more likely to be rated as poor sleepers compared to those who went to sleep immediately after going to bed. Before bedtime, volume of electronic media use (17 h 55 min per week) was higher than non-media activities (14 h per week), whereas the opposite was true after bedtime (media = 3 h 41 min, non-media = 7 h 46 min). Shuteye latency was related exclusively to prebedtime media use. Findings confirmed the proposed fragmentation of bedtime. Sleep displacement should therefore be redefined as a two-step process, as respondents not only engage in the delay of bedtime, but also in the delay of shuteye time once in bed. Theoretical, methodological and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords: bedtime ritual; sleep latency; sleep quality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Computers / statistics & numerical data
  • Electronics / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult