Sleep procrastination? Yup, apparently it’s a thing.

A screencap from The Clock by Christian Marclay

There was a time when I wanted to revamp my life for the sake of self-growth. Aside from random goals like improving my handwriting, one of my utmost priorities was to address my problem of procrastination.

Like any typical millennial, I ran to Google for help. I came into it thinking I was trying to address procrastination from school work. I ended my search with a term that was completely new to me, but it also made a lot of sense to describe a habit I formed: sleep procrastination.

I chalk my sleeping habits up to two major factors: genetics and stubbornness. Maybe it might just be in my genetic code to thrive at night. On the other hand, there are many instances when I choose to stay awake even though I have absolutely no obligations to attend to.

Doing what, you ask? Cleaning my medicine cabinet, finishing TV shows (Dear White People, Master of None, Brooklyn Nine-Nine — get on it!) and trying to improve my handwriting. It has been found that there is a strong correlation between the use of electronic devices and sleep deprivation. Those with less self-regulation were more likely to procrastinate during bedtime. I just have this sudden urge to do things when I’m supposed to be asleep. Sometimes, I consciously fight it off even when my head is starting to pound. (I told you I was stubborn.)

Sleep procrastination is a lot different from other sleeping disorders such as the restless legs syndrome and chronic insomnia. I’m usually deliberately doing this to myself, as opposed to the others who have no choice at all. However, prolonged sleep procrastination can actually lead to insomnia over time since it completely alters one’s sleeping habits.

For me, everything is just more peaceful at night. It’s the perfect time for me to focus on the things I have to do while people are busy catching up on sleep. In my head, it feels like I’m adding a couple of extra hours to my day, even if I lose a couple of hours the next morning for waking up late. It doesn’t really make sense but it works for me. For a long time, I refused to believe that functioning like a “normal human being” by staying up from roughly 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. was the only way to go.

But as time goes by, it gets tiring (literally) to fight for that belief, especially when what health journals tell me run counter to what social norms expect. For the benefits of self-growth and health, here is to hoping that I can maximize the peace of the evening by actually sleeping.


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