Daylight savings sees 'sleepy consumers' with a wider variety in their shopping carts

March 11, 2019

A recent study from the UBC Sauder School of Business found that sleepier consumers reach for more variety at their local stores to help them stay awake, including those impacted by loss of sleep due to Daylight Savings Time.

The study examines the consumption behaviour of people in North America and Asia who were experiencing fatigue for a variety of reasons. Study participants were presented with various situations--from bowls of candy to chocolate bars to different coloured sticky notes--in which they were asked to make choices. For example, one group of sleepy consumers was asked to choose four candies from five bowls, each filled with a different type of candy, in any combination. The objective of the study was to track how variety-seeking behaviour is used by the sleep deficient consumer as a tool to help him or her stay awake.

Sleep deficiency of varying levels is a common occurrence among adults, but its impact on consumer behaviour has rarely been studied until now.

"The day after daylight savings people tend to be sleepier as they get less sleep, on average about 30 to 60 minutes," explains Charles Weinberg, a professor or marketing and behavioural science at UBC Sauder and one of the authors of the study. "So, we wanted to see how this would play out in the real world, and through the study we're seeing that you tend to buy more different types of candy bars, for example, on the day after daylight savings time than you would on other days of the week. That's even after controlling for how many candy bars you choose."

You might think that the sleepier the consumer, the less likely he or she is to care about what is going into the shopping cart. But, in fact, that's not the case. In all four scenarios presented in the study, the majority of consumers experiencing sleepiness sought variety to help them stay awake, much like drinking coffee or listening to loud music.

Merchants can even vary their own promotions or marketing strategies to capture the attention of the sleep deprived. Weinberg suggests that restaurants and bars with food and drink specials vary the selection throughout the day or from day to day to help draw the attention of those trying to stay awake.

"We also suggested situations where variety might be more important, so right after daylight savings time you might offer a larger variety of products that might, if nothing else, encourage the sleepy consumer's sampling behaviour," says Weinberg.

Charles Weinberg is the SMEV Presidents Professor in Marketing and Professor Emeritus in the Marketing and Behavioural Science Division at the UBC Sauder School of Business He co-authored "The sleepy consumer and variety seeking" with Zhongqiang (Tak) Huang from The University of Hong Kong, Yitian (Sky) Liang of Tsinghua University, and Gerald J. Gorn of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The study was published in the January 2019 edition of the Journal of Marketing Research.

University of British Columbia - Sauder School of Business

Related Sleep Articles from Brightsurf:

Size and sleep: New research reveals why little things sleep longer
Using data from humans and other mammals, a team of scientists including researchers from the Santa Fe Institute has developed one of the first quantitative models that explains why sleep times across species and during development decrease as brains get bigger.

Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration
Wind turbine noise (WTN) influences people's perception of the restorative effects of sleep, and also has a small but significant effect on dream sleep, otherwise known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows.

To sleep deeply: The brainstem neurons that regulate non-REM sleep
University of Tsukuba researchers identified neurons that promote non-REM sleep in the brainstem in mice.

Chronic opioid therapy can disrupt sleep, increase risk of sleep disorders
Patients and medical providers should be aware that chronic opioid use can interfere with sleep by reducing sleep efficiency and increasing the risk of sleep-disordered breathing, according to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

'Short sleep' gene prevents memory deficits associated with sleep deprivation
The UCSF scientists who identified the two known human genes that promote 'natural short sleep' -- nightly sleep that lasts just four to six hours but leaves people feeling well-rested -- have now discovered a third, and it's also the first gene that's ever been shown to prevent the memory deficits that normally accompany sleep deprivation.

Short sleep duration and sleep variability blunt weight loss
High sleep variability and short sleep duration are associated with difficulties in losing weight and body fat.

Nurses have an increased risk of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation
According to preliminary results of a new study, there is a high prevalence of insufficient sleep and symptoms of common sleep disorders among medical center nurses.

Common sleep myths compromise good sleep and health
People often say they can get by on five or fewer hours of sleep, that snoring is harmless, and that having a drink helps you to fall asleep.

Sleep tight! Researchers identify the beneficial role of sleep
Why do animals sleep? Why do humans 'waste' a third of their lives sleeping?

Does extra sleep on the weekends repay your sleep debt? No, researchers say
Insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders put people at increased risk for metabolic problems, including obesity and diabetes.

Read More: Sleep News and Sleep Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to