Turn off the light and just go to the bed. And then what? Sleep? Well, I wish it was that simple. The last twitter scroll, one more episode, one more email check, one last article to read, one last report to go through, the last notification check on Instagram etcetera always comes in the way of sleeping early even if we’re dead tired. Oh, how we wish if we could wake up early in the morning feeling refreshed after a good night sleep! But we all are stuck in the endless loop of sleep procrastination and there seems no way out of it.
After a good day of hard work maintaining a work-life balance, it seems justified that we need a fair share of time for ourselves. You may keep yourself awake working over time or you just can’t afford to miss the next episode after watching the hanging climax of the previous one. In both the cases, no matter how you justify it, you’re just killing your sleeping hours and bringing an imbalance in your life.
According to Utrecht University in the Netherlands, sleep procrastination or bedtime procrastination is defined as “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so”. Pay attention to the words ‘no external circumstances’, it’s only you who are stopping yourself.
Sleeping less may seem heroic and something to brag about, but it’s not doing you any good. In addition to keeping you sleepy, drained of energy and red-eyed in offices and classrooms yawning regularly throughout the day, a number of health issues arise due to lack of sleep such as heart diseases, stress, diabetes, weight gain, even a reduced lifetime.
Who to blame? Working over-time may seem like valid cause, but the real culprit here is 24/7 readily available internet and the devices that we keep right next to our pillow while we sleep. The light they emit creates an artificial imbalance in our body and lead the mind to believe that it’s not dark yet. The natural alarm clock of the body is turned off and you end up staying up late and over-sleeping in the morning.
If you wish to change your ways, you need to decide to put an end to your toxic sleep procrastination and only you can do that. Bring a discipline in your life. Here are some tips to get you started:
- – Keep your phone away from the bed. In fact, keep it in a place where you can’t reach to it. Turn off the internet, you don’t need to check every notification right away and if there’s some emergency, they will call you instead of waiting for a text back.
- -No laptops and TV in the bedroom. And no binge-watching TV shows. You have to understand that it’s not physically possible to watch every TV show and every movie on the planet, so give it a rest. Rather read a book, go for a walk or take up a hobby like yoga, badminton, jogging as these activities can make you exhausted ensuring a heavenly sleep.
- -No to caffeine and alcohol before bed. Avoiding coffee is hard, but it hinders your sleeping routine. Alcohol will make it worse. Switch to tea and take a hot soothing bath before bedtime. That will do wonders.
- -Darken the room. It will also cool down the room and help you doze off easily. Switch off the lights before 11:30 pm and snuck under your blanket.
Easier said than done. But not impossible. It might take you a couple of weeks or so to adjust to the routine you’re trying to force into your lifestyle but it’s worth it. After some time, your body clock will adjust itself to that order and you will start feeling sleepy at that time on your own.
The mornings will be fresh and lively. You’d be able to focus on your work more efficiently and your health will improve. Basically, it’s a win-win.