Sleep procrastination: 5 tips to avoid going to bed too late

( Awake in Nightmare - Sleep Paralysis - Image Courtesy of www.cbsnews.com )
( Awake in Nightmare - Sleep Paralysis - Image Courtesy of www.cbsnews.com )

Instead of turning off the lights and closing your eyes, do you prefer to scroll through your social networks or phone a friend? If so, then you may be suffering from procrastination of sleep. You think you’re increasing your productivity by killing sleep, but in reality, it might be the other way around. Nevertheless, do not panic; we can give you some tips to fix it.

We do not necessarily know it, but procrastination – the tendency to put everything off until later – does not stop at night. Indeed, a study done in 2014 by a group of scientists revealed that some people suffered from procrastination even in their bed, and that is called sleep procrastination. In other words, rather than closing their eyes and dropping into Morpheus’s arms, they tweet, launch a new episode of series, or decide to tidy up and organize their wardrobe. In other words, they delay the time of bedtime without any particular reason. The researchers explained: “We thought it was not so much a question of not wanting to sleep, but rather a question of not wanting to stop other activities”. But then, how to overcome the procrastination of sleep?

6 tips to help you stop sleep procrastination

1. Put a notice on your phone

It’s a stupid thing but that could help the enemies of sleep. Every night, when we come home from work, we set an alarm at the time when we want to close our eyes. As soon as it starts ringing, we have to stop what we were doing, then turn off the lights and finally let ourselves gently relax and fall asleep. 

All you need to be able to achieve that is to have a little motivation and stick to it. Nowadays, there are several Android and iOS phone apps that do this for you. Actually, there are even smart beds that do it nowadays. Have you heard about the Sleep Number 360 Smart Beds? They have something called ‘Sleep Tracking’ technology that helps you not only go to bed on time, but also to track the quality and quantity of your sleep. You can read more about it on our Sleep Number Bed Review where we compare and contrast the different pros and cons of different models of Sleep Number adjustable beds.

2. Set up a routine

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According to a research, following the same sleep rituals every night helps to prevent insomnia and also helps falling asleep faster. The scientists explain that it is important to have an early and light dinner (so that digestion is facilitated and one falls asleep better) and that one must avoid having a nap when going back home from their office (or wherever they work). Then you are free to add little things to your routine, such as:

  • a comforting herbal tea,
  • a bit of dark chocolate,
  • a hot soup etc.

The following video also talks about the same principles on stopping sleep procrastination.

3. Immerse yourself in a book

Binge watching series on Netflix may be fun, but did you know that reading helped to find sleep? A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in the United States, revealed that by reading a few pages of a book every night, a ritual was introduced. Suddenly, our brain basically rings the alarm and our body understands that it is time to go to bed. Be careful though, we are talking about books and books only. Reading on your smartphone, on your computer or on your tablet is definitely not an option. Quite the contrary, that simply alters the quality of sleep. Moreover, be careful which books you choose to take to bed with you. Not all books promote sleep. If you read a thriller or a book with a very interesting plot and a lot of suspense, you might achieve the opposite of what you wanted at first, which is staying up all night. Go instead for fluffy romances and books you’ve already read before in order to doze off and fall asleep fast.

4. Being active and dynamic

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Once the dinner has been eaten, it is better not to go back straight to your couch and laze around. Indeed, according to specialists, when you move around after eating, you avoid thinking too much and overthinking (which usually prevents you from falling asleep fast). Doing the dishes, taking out the garbage cans, doing your laundry, all of those are activities that can be helpful for your body as well as for your brain. The goal here is also to go to sleep thinking that you have “finished” doing all of your tasks. Thus, you will fall asleep with your head hopefully empty.

5. Playing sports and exercising

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According to experts, the best time to play sports is in the morning because the body is in a good shape and ready to work. Nevertheless, a physical activity in the evening allows you to let off steam after a big day of work. It also regulates appetite and weight. Only drawback? The schedules. Indeed, specialists and doctors all agree that doing exercise two or three hours before bedtime can affect the quality of sleep. It is therefore better to prefer the 6PM fitness class to the 8PM one.

If you’re struggling to come out of sleep procrastination, don’t worry… you’re not alone on this. Read this encouraging story on how one individual turned her whole life around by conquering the sleep procrastination demon!

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