You don’t need me to convince you of the benefits of sleep and I’m sure you’ve heard about them:
- Boosting your immune system.
- Help prevent weight gain.
- Sleep can strengthen your heart.
- Better sleep = better mood.
- Sleeping can increase productivity.
- Sleep can increase exercise performance.
- Sleep improves memory.
But getting the hours of sleep required to see us recover and be at our best can be a challenge. This is because we have various demands that battle for our finite time attention and energy.
And it’s usually a case that choosing one of these commitments will see us miss out on another. And we humans don’t like thought of missing out, so we make decisions to avoid missing out.
For example did you know there is such a thing as revenge bedtime procrastination?! It is the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time that is driven by a daily schedule lacking in free time.
When your high-stress job takes up the bulk of your day. Revenge bedtime procrastination is a way to find a few hours of entertainment. It’s very easily done. After all this time is where you have currently assigned time for yourself to wind down. Or it could be time with you spend with your other half.
Even though it results in insufficient sleep, staying up late to do what you want gives you a sense of control that you don’t feel you have during your work or family life. Even if the “revenge” is mostly on oneself.
Although revenge bedtime procrastination can be tempting. late nights followed by early mornings can directly lead to serious sleep deprivation.
Sleep procrastination can take different forms. One involves delaying the act of getting into bed (bedtime procrastination). Another is delaying the time of trying to fall asleep once in bed (while-in-bed procrastination). A person may engage in one or both forms of sleep procrastination, each of which can reduce nightly sleep.
Also with engaging in this bedtime procrastination and knowing/generally wanting to receive enough sleep, but failing to do so creates cognitive dissonance (mental conflict).
There is also the concept of searching for perfect sleep conditions that can cause sleep problems. Take for example if something doesn’t confirm with your idea of the perfect sleep environment. You could then lay there disgruntled and tell yourself.
‘I’m not going to get to sleep now without x’
This is where a night time routine can be helpful. A night-time routine can reduce the impulse to stay up later instead of going to bed.
- Keeping a consistent bedtime (setting an alarm to start this night time routine) and wake-up time (sleep cycle app), including non-working days.
- Avoiding alcohol or caffeine late in the afternoon or evening.
- Stop the use of electronic devices for at least half-an-hour, and longer, before bed.
- Developing a stable routine to use every night to prepare for bed.
Reading, showering/bathing, meditating, or stretching, can be part of your bedtime routine. Relaxation techniques may also decrease the stress that can drive revenge bedtime procrastination.
Also creating an inviting bedroom environment. One that is dark and quiet, has a comfortable mattress and bedding can also make going to sleep more appealing. And reduce the desire to sacrifice sleep for leisure activities.
Hope this helps.
p.s. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!