Is “Bedtime Procrastination” a New Sleep Disorder?

Researchers say they may have identified a brand new sleep disorder, and it has more to do with not wanting to go to sleep than not being able to.

Most people diagnosed with a sleep issue have problems going to sleep or staying asleep.  But, a team at Utrecht University in the Netherlands say the sleep disorder they call “Sleep Procrastination” is just a poor choice.  They define this new disorder as, “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so.”

In plain English, Sleep Procrastination happens when you know it’s time to go to sleep, you’re tired, but you have to watch another episode of your favorite program or read one more chapter in your book.  Before you know it, it’s 1 a.m. and you’re not going to get near enough sleep because you have to wake up for work at 7 a.m.

So, how do you avoid it?  Here are some SleepBetter tips:

  • Stick to your schedule. This sounds ridiculously oversimplified, and maybe it is, but if you have a bedtime make it rock solid.  If you need to go to bed at 11 p.m. in order to get eight hours of sleep, then that’s when you need to go to bed.
  • Remind yourself of the benefits. Sleep deprivation is serious stuff.  It can cause memory issues as well as a host of other problems.  Your skin also ages more when you don’t sleep enough.  What this means is that “beauty rest is real“.  Remind yourself of these health benefits and hopefully that next episode of “House of Cards” won’t lure you in.
  • Stick to the buddy system.  Enlist your significant other to help.  Have him or her remind you that it’s time to go bed, and that your book will be there to be read tomorrow.

Do you have a sleep question you’ve always wondered about?  If so, use our contact form to Ask SleepBetter!