Sleep is a super important factor in life. Sleep also is the one thing that people are deprived of the most. It’s something we all want more of but end up never getting enough.
It is believed that between 30% and 48% of older adults suffer from insomnia. While there are a variety of factors that can cause insomnia to flare up one of those factors is a little different.
Something which became super popular during the lockdown was known as Revenge bedtime procrastination. The constant hustle of life leads to sacrificing sleep to gain some personal time. There are many reasons this happens so let's look at the factors and the ways to prevent us from taking revenge on our sleep.
The more you sacrifice your sleep the more you sacrifice years of your life. - Matthew Walker
2 factors make are required to categorize something as procrastination.
1. Delay in going to sleep to reduce sleep time 🕰
An always working mindset and pushing your health away to worry about in the future. What often happens is your health catches up to you and when you do get the effects of less sleep they are far worse than they should have been. This also involves a delay in getting into bed which pushes the sleep cycle further and further leading to more fatigue and less energy overall the next day.
2. Staying up late for no absolute reason ⚱
This happens when you know you could go to sleep but start scrolling the internet and doing something to keep your mind busy. Time passes differently when you are doom scrolling and after what you think is 5 minutes you look at the time it becomes 2 hours.
This usually happens when you're in bed but don't want to go to sleep.
Adam Grant claims this to be his own challenge by “messing up tomorrow by doing nothing and scrolling on the internet a little more.”
So why do we end up causing sleep procrastination in the first place?
This is due to an intention-behavior gap. What happens is these 2 forces conflict with each other as you intend to do something positive but your old habits take over your behaviors. These old habits are tuned to something different causing a misfire in the action which actually ends up following through.
The long-term effects are still in their early stages of being studied in-depth but sleep deprivation ( who would've guessed that), shorter thinking span, memory, and poor decision making in important situations are some of the common effects.
What are some ways to help create an environment that provides better overall sleep?
Set up a sleep routine that you can follow every day. Waking up and sleeping at around the same time if possible.
- Empirical evidence says the optimal sleep temperate for a room is around 65-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Having complete blackout curtains promotes deeper sleep as suggested by Matthew Walker in Why we Sleep.
- Eliminating devices 30 minutes before sleeping if possible and for a gold star 🌟 1 hour before sleep.
- Reducing your day workload where possible as this article suggests.
During the day you can do mini-check-ins with yourself by taking mental + physical breaks from your work environment.
For example, this can be after a 25 min or 45 min work session getting up to go to a different room to let your brain cool off before setting it on work mode again.
By creating a better environment and a better mindset about our health we can see improvements. The focus is to keep surviving in the marathon of life and not burnout in the first few laps.
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