Sleepy procrastination

Sleepy procrastination: why are we not going to sleep?

The tendency to put things off for later and do whatever, but not what we need, is common to many of us. But why do we postpone and postpone the moment of going to bed, although we know that in the morning we ourselves will suffer and scold ourselves for yesterday’s senseless vigil on the couch?

The term sleep procrastination, that is, putting off sleep for later, was first proposed in 2014 by scientists at the University of Utrecht – they published a study in which almost 180 people took part, each of whom somehow avoided the moment when one had to go to sleep. And most of them could not explain why they are doing this.

The time allotted for sleep was spent on meaningless things: someone was aimlessly leafing through the social media feed, someone was endlessly switching to the next series of a not so exciting series, and someone found himself reading articles on topics that weren’t interesting day they called.

Most of the participants experienced a lack of sleep because they slept less than six hours a day and complained that morning rises were difficult. All this, however, did not prevent again and again from breaking his promise to himself to go to bed right on time today.


Procrastination in one form or another is familiar to almost all of us – we tend to put off things that cause us discomfort. An unpleasant conversation with the boss or a trip to the gym, where they again make you sweat and carry heavy objects – is a clear reason for procrastination. It is also understandable that an attempt to delay the start of a project in which you do not fully understand your role or are afraid to be insufficiently competent.

But sleep can hardly be called a nuisance, especially since many lack it. What makes us deprive ourselves of pleasure and waste time on things that do not bring satisfaction?

“Part of the problem is that in our life there are more and more processes that drag out. The same social networks – we grab onto the phone in any free minute. At the same time, there will be no logical end to viewing Instagram or Facebook feeds, you can hang for hours, ”says psychologist Marina Kuzovkova. – Another problem is the inability to leave work affairs outside of personal space. 24-hour accessibility via email, instant messengers and other means of communication makes us vulnerable. Some feel physically uncomfortable if they don’t read and respond to a new message or letter. ”

Thanks to technology, we are constantly connected, the number of cases is growing. Priority skills make life easier

The lack of a clear separation between working and non-working hours gives rise to a situation where all the time, except for sleep, becomes working. In the morning, the first thing a man reaches for the phone to check mail and ends the day with the same action, his head resting on the pillow. The paradox of the situation is that often at the same time it seems to a person: he still did not manage to do anything, and there are more unfulfilled tasks than done.

The key to resolving this situation, experts call a clear planning of both time and tasks that must be solved during the day. Thanks to technology, we are constantly in touch, the number of cases is growing. The ability to prioritize will greatly facilitate life. It will save you from the nasty voice in your head that insists that you do not have time.

“Another factor is the feeling that you do not have time to live. In the morning, we barely tear our eyes, prepare breakfast, deliver children to kindergartens and schools, rush through traffic jams to work, where we solve endlessly falling tasks all day. Evening is the only time you can take care of yourself by putting the children to bed and washing the dishes. But the clock is inexorable and says it’s time to go to sleep. And when to live ?! This problem is relevant for many, – adds Marina. “As a result, we protest internally and try to solve it through sleep.” It seems to us that this is our well-deserved free time. In reality, we simply steal the possibility of rest from ourselves, which tomorrow will only respond with even more fatigue and a sense of persecution. ”


Of course, we depend on the number of working hours and daily activities that cannot be abandoned – the children themselves will not take themselves to kindergarten, and traffic jams will not resolve in any way just because of our strong desire to get home as soon as possible. However, here, perhaps, there is space for some maneuver. Time management experts advise you to carefully look at those daily affairs that we spend time on.

Perhaps replenishment of gastronomic stocks can be delegated to the delivery service, ordering products online. And the endless and ineffective nightly cleaning is not worth the effort and nerves and it is easier to hire an incoming assistant.

Planning can help with the TV. For example, instead of aimlessly switching channels in search of at least something interesting, you can sketch out a list of interesting films that you should watch a couple of nights a week to watch. Take a couple of evenings for reading books or an evening walk.

Often the root of the problem and the unpleasant feeling that you are spinning like a squirrel in a wheel, not having time to live for yourself, lies in the routine: every evening cooking dinner, washing dishes, watching programs on TV. If you diversify at least part of the evening affairs, the feeling of monotony will become much less pronounced.

“Another way to teach yourself to go to bed on time and when you need to get enough sleep is to come up with relaxing evening rituals,” Marina advises. – Fragrant foam bath, a cup of mint tea, dim lights, favorite pajamas, putting gadgets into night mode, reading books – find your own combination of elements that make up a pleasant end to the day. Then you will automatically begin to switch to sleep mode and very soon the desire to spend valuable night time aimlessly with a phone or laptop will disappear by itself, and sleep will become better and more desirable. ”

Written by malakandhills

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