Taking the Revenge of the Day from the Night: Bedtime Procrastination Behaviors

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Bedtime procrastination is one of the most fundamental underlying reasons of sleep deficiencies. Studies set forth that the average sleep time for an adult is at least six hours a day. You are welcome to take a look at our article titled “What’s the minimum hours of sleep we need?” to have detailed information about the sufficient sleep time and the results of sleeplessness.

When you add this six-hour nighttime sleep to the time left from a long-lasting work/education tempo, we may think that there is no time left for us to give ourselves, and thus we may tend to procrastinate on the bedtime. The results obtained from the pieces of research put forward that bedtime procrastination stems from our wish to create some time for ourselves after a stressful daily routine in which there is no free time.

In particular, those who spend a large part of the day in stressful jobs give up on their bedtime in order to have a couple of hours of free time, even though this ends up as insufficient sleep.

With What Behaviors is Bedtime Procrastination Associated?

A study carried out on young people (Magalhães et al., 2020) showed that bedtime procrastination has two aspects to it: behaviors of procrastinating on the act of getting into the bed and procrastinating on the act of falling asleep. As per the study;

  • Procrastinating on the act of getting into the bed was associated with waking up at later hours and having dinner at later hours
  • Procrastinating on the act of falling asleep, however, was found to be associated with being male, the wish to fall asleep at later hours, and having dinner at later hours.

According to a study carried out in Holland (Kroese et al., 2020), bedtime procrastination behaviors also reflect procrastinating on other tasks, such as procrastinating on homework or chores. On the other hand, unlike any other obligations, procrastinating on sleep does not usually create negative associations in individuals; instead, activities that rather give momentary pleasure are preferred, such as watching TV, spending time with friends, or playing video games. It was reported that problems like bedtime procrastination, difficulty in falling asleep, and sleep deficiencies increased specifically as a result of the increase in the use of electronic devices in the setting of sleep.

Bedtime Procrastination Behaviors during COVID-19 Era

It is claimed that bedtime procrastination behavior has increased as a result of the period of staying at home, along with COVID-19. Surveys found out that working from home has prolonged the labor hours, and that there has been a particular reduction in the free time of women since the beginning of the pandemic. Studies reported that these factors may trigger stress and bedtime procrastination, and that they caused nearly 40% of the people to suffer from sleep problems during the pandemic (Giurge et al., 2020; Jahrami et al., 2021).

How to Prevent Bedtime Procrastination Behaviors

The best solution for bedtime procrastination is a healthy sleep hygiene that includes good sleep habits and creating a setting that is convenient for sleeping. For instance,

  • Consistent hours for sleeping and waking up, including days off.
  • Avoiding alcohol or caffeine in the afternoon or late at night.
  • Stopping the use of electronic devices, including mobile phones and tablets, at least half an hour or ideally much earlier before sleeping.
  • Practicing relaxation methods, such as reading a book, meditating, or stretching slightly, can reduce the stress that may cause one to procrastinate on bedtime.

– https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/revenge-bedtime-procrastination
– Kroese, F. M., Evers, C., Adriaanse, M. A., & de Ridder, D. T. (2016). Bedtime procrastination: A self-regulation perspective on sleep insufficiency in the general population. Journal of health psychology, 21(5), 853-862.
– Giurge, L. M., Yemiscigil, A., Sherlock, J., & Whillans, A. V. (2020). Uncovering Inequalities in Time-Use and Well-Being during COVID-19: A Multi-Country Investigation. Harvard Business School.
– Jahrami, H., BaHammam, A. S., Bragazzi, N. L., Saif, Z., Faris, M., & Vitiello, M. V. (2021). Sleep problems during the COVID-19 pandemic by population: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 17(2), 299-313.
– Magalhães, P., Cruz, V., Teixeira, S., Fuentes, S., & Rosário, P. (2020). An exploratory study on sleep procrastination: bedtime vs. while-in-bed procrastination. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(16), 5892.