Am I the only one who is a little bit excited to see that there is actually a name for this behavior? Sleep procrastination (bedtime procrastination is actually what the article called it) is real???
For years I’ve fought going to bed. I know I do it but I’ve never known exactly WHY I do it. I only know I will find every reason in the world not to go to bed. I’ve always been a night owl for as long as I remember. Although when growing up, my parents had a pretty strict bedtime for my sisters and me on school nights. I always hated going to bed early and longed for the time when I was older and would be able to “stay up late.” My mother was a night owl most of her life but in her later years she became a morning lark. Both my sons are sleep procrastinators (they’re both in college now and I’m sure that plays a part). In middle school and high school I blamed it on the unreasonable amount of homework and school projects they had. But I wonder if this condition might be passed on through genes.
I love to read before going to bed and I’ll even fall asleep in my book and nod off. Seems the sensible thing to do at that point would be to shut the book and turn off the darn light. But no….. I’ll fight it and keep on reading! I don’t watch much television and I’m not into social media. As a matter of fact, I gave up Facebook because it was such a time suck. But the computer is still my downfall when it comes to getting enough sleep. I love to read blogs and I follow quite a few. I enjoy reading them but this does require a lot of my time.
Have you ever heard of the term sleep hygiene? I had not until a few years ago. That’s when I learned that my sleep hygiene is just horrible. According to the The National Sleep Foundation website:
Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness.
I even read a very good book about it called Insomnia Cures: Sleep Hygiene Practice Makes Permanent (recommended to me by a therapist). It’s an easy read and had some practical advice.
These are just a few things I learned (that I still need to work on).
- Go to bed every night at the same time and get up in the morning at the same time.
- Use your bed only for sleeping and sex. No reading in bed, no watching TV, no texting, checking emails, etc.
- Don’t keep your bedroom thermostat set too high. It’s better to have the temperature for sleeping a little on the cool side than too warm.
- No caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol right before bedtime.
- Don’t exercise before bedtime.
- No daytime napping.
- Don’t eat heavy meals before bedtime, and especially no spicy or sugary snacks.
- Establish pre-bedtime rituals such as a warm bath or shower, meditation, reading, etc.
I’ve tried hard establishing an earlier bedtime routine, but it seems my body just wants to remain a night owl. My doctor has given me sleep aid medications such as Ambien and Lunesta. Ambien just didn’t work well on me not to mention I said and did really stupid things while taking it (according to my husband) and I didn’t have any recollection of these things which was kinda scary for me. Lunesta gave me horrible nightmares (very VIVID nightmares I will add). My poor husband wasn’t getting any sleep when I was on the Lunesta because he was constantly having to wake me up from my nightmares because I was constantly screaming out loud. I stopped the Lunesta and decided I’d rather have insomnia.
What about you? Do you suffer from sleep procrastination? What do you do when you have trouble sleeping?