Technology use during evening routines, bedtime satisfaction, and impacts on individual and relational well-being



In this study, we examined the typical and ideal bedtime routines of 289 Americans in cohabiting relationships who were recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Participants described their bedtime routines, indicated their frequency of sex with their partner, and completed surveys measuring their bedtime, sexual, relationship, and life satisfaction. There were some incongruencies between ideal and typical scenarios, with joint activities (both technological and non-technological) featured more often in the ideal scenarios, and more time alone featured in typical scenarios. Incongruence between the presence of physical intimacy in ideal and typical scenarios was predictive of bedtime satisfaction, as were the presence of emotional intimacy, going to bed together, and shared technology use (e.g., watching television together) during their typical time together. In turn, bedtime satisfaction predicted frequency of sex, and sexual, relationship, and life satisfaction. However, shared time together not engaged in technology and time apart (using technology or not) was not predictive of bedtime satisfaction. As bedtime is an opportunity for leisure together for many couples, going to bed together and engaging in activities that promote emotional intimacy (e.g., conversations) may be beneficial to couples. Additionally, discussions and compromise related to the presence of physical intimacy at bedtime may help couples experience greater bedtime satisfaction. Finally, in contrast to suggestions that technology use has a negative effect on relationships, shared technology use before bed may have a positive impact on individual and relational well-being.

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Journal of Social and Personal Relationships