Bedtime Procrastination

Bedtime Procrastination


Bedtime procrastination is a psychological phenomenon in which people stay up later to control the night because they think to lack influence over events during the day.


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Revenge bedtime procrastination refers to a phenomenon in which people put off going to bed to engage in activities that they don’t have time for during the day. It is a way of finding time for leisure and entertainment at the expense of sleep.

An individual may procrastinate sleep due to a variety of causes. The person may not necessarily be avoiding sleep, but rather continuing to complete activities they perceive as more enjoyable than sleep (such as watching television or browsing social media). There are many distractions in the 21st century: obtaining distractions to delay sleep is much easier than in earlier decades.

A 2014 study of Dutch individuals concluded that low self-regulation could cause bedtime procrastination. Due to COVID-19, 40% more people have had sleeping problems. A 2021 study found that boredom also leads to bedtime procrastination. Boredom increases inattention, which leads to increased bedtime procrastination.

A 2018 study that tested 19 people led to three bedtime procrastination themes: deliberate procrastination, mindless procrastination, and strategic delay. Deliberate procrastination results from a person consciously believing they deserve more time for themselves, causing them to intentionally stay up later. Mindless procrastination results from losing track of time during one's daily tasks and consequently staying up later without intending to. The strategic delay results from purposely staying up late to fall asleep easier. The strategic delay has also been found to be linked with undiagnosed insomnia.

The research found that bedtime procrastination's main causes are low-self control and increased stress.

According to researchers, three key factors differentiate between bedtime procrastination and staying up late:

1-The individual experiencing bedtime procrastination must be decreasing their overall sleep time every night.

2-There must be no reason for them to stay up late (such as location or sickness).

3-The individual must be aware that the loss of sleep is impacting them negatively, but they do not care to change their routine.

People with higher cell phone addiction report more signs of bedtime procrastination.


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