What is sleep procrastination?

Sleep procrastination” is a term used in psychological research to refer to the recurrence of compulsive thoughts or behaviors that prevent you from going to sleep easily, even though you know that the thoughts or behaviors are wrong, but you still cannot get rid of this state of anxiety or excitement before going to sleep, which eventually leads to a delay in falling asleep.

If you always go to bed later than you planned without outside force majeure, then you probably have the same sleep procrastination behavior as most people.

Some studies have shown that the reason for the lack of sleep in modern people is probably because people delay going to bed themselves, rather than the external factors such as “insomnia” as traditionally believed by scholars.

Data on the Sleep Self-Reporting Scale were collected from 203 participants of various ethnicities, educational levels, and marital and occupational statuses on a relevant platform. The data were analyzed for the remaining 177 participants, except for those with sleep disorders, for whom there was no force majeure preventing them from sleeping at the time they wanted.

Have you ever thought about your own sleep delay to what extent?

Maybe you can try the following test:

Ask yourself the following questions and rate them on a scale of 1 (almost never) ~ 5 (almost always). Referring to the criteria after the question, you can assess the severity of your own late sleep procrastination.

1) I go to bed later than I planned.

2) If I have to get up early, I go to bed early.

3) I usually do other things when it’s time to go to bed.

4) If it’s time to turn off the lights at night, I turn them off right away.

5) When I want to go to bed, I am easily attracted to other things.

6) I have a regular bedtime.

7) I don’t go to bed on time.

8) When it’s time to go to bed, I can easily finish other activities.

9) I want to go to bed but I just don’t sleep.

How to calculate the score: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 questions is your grade score. 2, 4, 6, 8 questions score the opposite of the grade score, that is, 1 (almost never) scores 5 points, 5 (always) scores 1 point.

When you finish all the questions, add up the scores of each question and divide by 9 to find the average score of each question. According to the statistics, for every 1 point increase in a person’s average score, the amount of time spent sleeping decreases by about half an hour.

Why do you procrastinate not to sleep?

There is a long-standing puzzle in the field of philosophical research: why do people fail to do what they know is good for them?

Sleep procrastination is a unique situation in that people usually procrastinate on tasks they don’t want to do, while sleep is rarely perceived as something they don’t want to do, something they know is good for them.

A team of researchers studied 177 participants and found that those who had sleep procrastination problems tended to have procrastination problems in a variety of areas and had relatively low levels of “self-regulation,” which is the ability to (overcome immediate temptations) make behaviors that are in their long-term best interests and in line with their deepest values.

Therefore, people are reluctant to go to sleep because there is something going on in their “self-regulatory power” and they feel more attracted to the task at hand than to sleep, not so much because they don’t want to sleep as because they don’t want to stop other activities.

This may not be difficult to understand: when work, study, housework, child care, these are done, a person finally have some space of their own at night, can restore the body and mind full of peace, and lock the door, walk the dog, brush teeth, take contact lenses and so on these have to do before bedtime preparation, will not only shorten this period of time to enjoy the freedom, but also from the rest of a person to activate the state of activity again, delay They seem to be a very natural thing.

We all know that self-control requires a certain amount of mental energy. Especially at the end of the day, when energy is almost exhausted, it becomes more difficult to control oneself to stop swiping the phone, playing games or watching TV and go to bed on time. There are also studies that show that when people are sleepy, their willpower is extraordinarily low.

So, for some people, this time online information may seem more attractive than sleep – although the next morning will always regret that there is nothing more attractive than sleep, but at night before going to bed will still be unable to restrain.

It is perhaps not difficult to explain the vicious circle – sleep late – no energy – low self-control – delayed sleep ……

But think about the inefficiency and poor quality of life that sleeping late can bring you. Can you really become a better version of yourself by drifting off every day?

From a health perspective, staying up late is also quite harmful. Irregular sleep and significant stress can lead to forgetfulness, irritability, anxiety and reduced immune system, easy to catch a cold or gastrointestinal disease, and can even seriously affect the state of our lives, studies and work.

In addition, if your delay in not sleeping is not because the matter at hand is more attractive than sleeping, but accompanied by other feelings of low mood, lack of motivation and slow action, you need to be more alert to the presence of depression.


How can we solve the sleep procrastination?

How to solve this annoying problem, so that you can face the daily life with full of energy?

Here are three steps you can try:

1. Alert yourself

Willpower is especially weak when people are already drowsy, and sometimes all you may need is a timer to turn off the TV, or an alarm on your phone, in short, anything to stop you from playing with your phone in bed.

If you know it’s time to rest, but your brain orders you to inform you that “you can’t sleep, you should ……”

This is also the time to analyze and see the extent of your sleep procrastination. 

Some people with severe sleep procrastination have a compulsive way of thinking as that main characteristic, and if you have reached this level, you can remind yourself: “This is not what I really think, this is compulsive thinking at work~~”

To be able to realize this, you have the most fundamental resistance to “sleep procrastination”.

2. Divert attention

You can choose to do something else to replace this self-imposed compulsion to stay up late, something that will make it easy for you to start moving. For example, you can go make a cup of hot milk, take a hot bath …… In short, anything that helps you fall asleep is fine.

You can also replace swiping your phone with some ritualistic behavior, telling yourself that you can end the day contentedly, no matter how it went.

There are also many ways to try this:

Write a bedtime journal

Organize in advance for tomorrow’s work/class

Read a chapter of a paper book, like a poem, like a short story, like …… Boring textbooks

Do a set of exercises to stretch and relax your body ……

Find a ritual that you like and have a clear “end” to the situation so that your body and brain can relax and fall asleep more easily.

This is the key to dealing with obsessive thinking, which is to divert your attention away from the problem that is distracting you, even for a few seconds.

Sometimes, your brain may remind you again: “You can’t sleep now, you still have ……” 

Don’t fall for its trick, you must tell yourself, “I need to rest, let it go away.”


3. Face the facts head on and make light of it

When you have mastered the first two steps well, I believe you have basically accepted the fact that you are a “sleep procrastination”.

The next thing you need to do is to defy it, belittle it, and eventually succeed in getting away from it. 

Let’s face it – it’s our choice whether we don’t get enough sleep or whether we’re stressed out, and we can choose and control how much time we spend.

The next time you habitually delay going to bed, ask yourself how you want to live, stop, take three minutes of positive breathing, and feel the urge to “move on” in your mind.

For some people who are serious sleep procrastinators, if the “no sleep” message hits you again, I’m sure you’re ready to tell yourself, “That’s my ridiculous obsessive thought, so I don’t even need to pay attention to it.”

Keep following these steps and you will slowly find that you have been able to become the master of sleep and have been able to go to bed a little earlier.

Continue to persist, I believe that soon you will develop a good habit of rest.

In short, as long as you adjust your mindset and routine, we can get rid of the title of “sleep procrastination”.

What would your life be like without procrastination?

Chances are, you’ll be more confident, healthier, more successful, wealthier, happier, and enjoy life.
The time troubled by procrastination can actually be used to do more valuable things. The mental exhaustion that procrastination brings on you. In fact, you can live a freer and happier life. You need to defeat the powerful enemy of procrastination. I believe that after overcoming procrastination, you will find spiritual fulfillment and greater career success.Fill your life with confidence and laughter. An easy and productive life is simply wonderful.

"No Self-Discipline Required. Kill Procrastination2.0"

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