Updated February 3, 2021Tech history was made in 2019 when sales from online shopping outpaced those from brick-and-mortar retail locations for the first time ever. And signs of e-commerce’s popularity slowing down are nowhere in sight. It makes sense: online shopping can help save time, money, and stress. Seemingly limitless purchase options are on display with a few simple swipes, the checkout process never has a line, and, of course, there is the anticipation and excitement for the arrival of a package on your doorstep.After surveying over 1,000 people across the country, we found that many were even online shopping past their bedtime. Read on to learn how this sleepy and costly habit might impact us all.Bedtime BuyingOnline shopping after bedtime was a phenomenon in which seemingly everyone participated – men, women, millennials, and even baby boomers all reported shopping online after hours. In fact, less than 30% said they had never made an online purchase past their bedtime. Of the 72% of respondents who had shopped online late at night, more than half also reported feeling fatigued upon waking. In other words, sacrificing sleep for shopping didn’t miraculously make our respondents feel more energized the next morning.Millennials and women most often sacrificed sleep for shopping, although the trade-off of sleep for shopping was common across all genders and generations. Nearly 74% of women had shopped online after hours, while 69% of men admitted the same. The generational split was larger, with almost 75% of millennials shopping online after bedtime. Younger respondents may have been more likely to make online purchases, but 58% of baby boomers shopped online after bedtime as well.Sleepless Shopping CartsSpending late-night hours shopping online hurt more than just sleep schedules: it hurt wallets as well. On average, $165 was spent on late-night shopping sprees in the past year. And those who were more likely to shop online late at night (millennials and Gen Xers) were the most likely to have high checkout expenditures ($178 and $149, respectively). This means that these generations may actually be making their financial situations worse. Of course, this is one of the many important reasons to get more sleep.So what exactly were respondents looking for when they were supposed to be sleeping? Clothing, shoes, jewelry, and watches, it seems. Nearly half of respondents had purchased these items online past their bedtimes, spending an average of $178 on this category in the past year. Another 36.6% were up shopping for electronics and office supplies. This category was actually the most costly, with respondents spending an average of $217 on these late-night purchases. With better sleep benefitting everything from the brain to heart health and overall mood, it’s difficult to justify these purchases (or any others) that were made in the place of sleep.Regrets and Returns So what happens after sleep is lost and the money is spent? Respondents were evenly split: half were satisfied with their purchases, and half were not. Nevertheless, 23% still experienced buyer’s remorse, and another 31% admitted they had forgotten about the purchase they made past their typical bedtime.When the late-night purchase did turn out to be a regretful one, 25.1% attempted a return. Thankfully, this group almost always managed to get their money back, with 93% reporting a successful refund.Although the purchase may be something you can get a refund for, the sleep sacrificed is lost forever. When possible, do the necessary shopping during waking hours so that you can enjoy the blissful sleep that was meant for you at your normal bedtime.Late-Night Web Traffic Any frequent online shopper is aware of technology’s convenient ability to store billing information. This way, the individual numbers don’t have to be typed in every time a shopper decides to make a purchase. The added ease, however, can more easily lead to some bad decisions by limiting the time necessary to think things over. When respondents did choose to opt in for faster checkouts, they most often saved their billing information on their laptop or computer, and baby boomers were the most likely to use a laptop or computer to make purchases past their normal bedtimes.Laptops, however, were not the biggest culprits for late-night purchases – smartphones were. Over 70% of people reportedly slept with their smartphones either in their bed or on their nightstand. And more than 55% of respondents said their post-bedtime purchases occurred on their smartphone. Although it is already well-documented that sleeping with smartphones often inhibits a good night’s rest, there is now an added cost for those who may be likely to shop online.Another common behavior surfaced among late-night online shoppers: cart abandonment. After their usual bedtime and within the past three months, 72% of respondents had filled up a shopping cart without completing their purchase. Women were also more likely than men to participate in this behavior.The Real Way to Shop Yourself to SleepAlthough cart abandonment and refunds may have helped people recoup losses from post-bedtime online shopping, the loss of sleep may have been more costly. Poor sleep correlates with many mental and physical health issues, so prioritize rest over frivolous late-night purchases whenever possible.The knowledge that you need rest is half the battle; the other half is getting the sleep itself. At eachnight, we give you the tools you need to do both: sleep-related education and assistance in choosing the best mattress. Visit us today to read the verified reviews of other shoppers who have already made their sleep-related online purchases, for memory foam mattresses to blankets.In response to our finding, Andrea Strand, Editor at eachnight, comments:“The survey results show the prevalence of late-night purchases around the country. With 60% of online purchases being made between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m., this habit can be detrimental to one’s sleep patterns. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to curb your late-night shopping habits:Keep your phone out of your room at night – this simple gesture can help ensure a night of blissful sleep. Shopping aside, blue light emissions from electronic devices suppress the natural production of melatonin. While more than half of respondents making a late-night purchase report feeling fatigued in the morning, not having your phone within arms reach might improve sleep quality.”Methodology and LimitationsWe compiled 1,011 results via online surveys built on SurveyMonkey and hosted on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. 533 of the sample were female, 473 were male, and five identified as neither male nor female. The age range of respondents was between 18 and 75 with an average age of 38 and a standard deviation of 11. We identified and disqualified respondents who failed to answer a carefully decoyed attention-check question correctly. Additionally, outliers were pinpointed and excluded from these data, specifically where the average amount spent on late-night purchases were questioned.The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3% at a 95% confidence interval. As with any survey, the main limitation of these data is the reliance on self-reporting, which is often faced with issues such as attribution, exaggeration, telescoping, recency bias, and more. Precautionary steps were taken throughout all phases of the survey design, collection, and analysis to minimize these influences.Fair Use StatementThink you or your peers may be sacrificing too much sleep to shop online? You’re welcome to share this article for noncommercial purposes, so long as you link back to this page and its contributors receive proper credit for their work.About the author Andrea Strand CERTIFIED SLEEP COACH Andrea Strand is a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho where she studied English with an emphasis in Technical Writing. Since 2019, Andrea has written over 90 blog posts and guides on sleep health, sleep hygiene, and product reviews. 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