It’s about an hour to your bedtime and there is a feeling that comes over you, “I don’t feel like going to bed yet. What else can I do? Should I watch another episode on Netflix, take a quick look at my work emails, or check my social media feeds?” All of a sudden it’s an hour or two past your scheduled bedtime, and you ask yourself “why does this keep happening? I know that I should have gone to bed but, I’ve done this before and been fine.”
Sleep procrastination is affecting many individuals as working hours become longer and personal time seems to be getting shorter. At first delaying bedtime seems quite innocent, however, as the days turn into weeks you begin to believe that maybe this is all the sleep you really need. After all, what is this one or two hours of missed sleep costing you?
Procrastination has been defined as a “voluntary delay of an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.”1 Research published by Frontiers in Psychology suggest that most individuals are getting less than six to seven hours of sleep a day, and 42.2% feel tired three to seven days a week.2 Wow, no wonder coffee and energy drinks are so popular! Given this information are you bringing your best self forward not only to work but also to those that are most important to you at home? The picture above says plenty. What is normal supposed to feel like?
Where to start and some questions to think about:
Leave your smart phone and other electronic devices in another room. Initially, it will be a big struggle. Ask yourself why? What could you be possibly missing out on?
What if you use your smartphone as an alarm clock? It might be time to get a dedicated alarm. It will make a difference and there will be less temptation to check your notifications in the middle of the night.
Create a consistent sleep schedule throughout the week and weekend. Your body will naturally fall into a pattern as it knows that it’s time to relax and unwind.
Avoid eating or drinking caffeine or alcohol beverages two to three hours before bedtime.
Why is an Executive Coach discussing Sleep Procrastination?
Each and every day, leaders try to bring their best self forward. They often look for ways to bring that extra edge, tip or tactic to make their new day even better than the last. It’s likely that a well-rested mind will get you where you want to go faster than that extra-large cup of coffee. Sometimes it is as simple as a good night sleep. I would be interested to hear how you prepare yourself for the next day. How do you know if you have had enough sleep?
As always, your Yellow Brick Road is awaiting you! Sweet Dreams!
James Amarelo CEC CFP FMA
Founder and President - Yellow Brick Road
1) Steel, P. (2007). The nature of procrastination: a meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychol. Bull. 133, 65–94. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.65