I wish I had the ability to turn off the lights, tuck into bed, and immediately fall asleep every single night. What a great superpower that would be! I’m referring to it as a “superpower” because I know for many of us, it’s a fantasy that’s simply too good to be true. There are a wide variety of reasons why a person can have trouble getting to sleep, and many of them are masked by one troubling instance which plagues most of us at some point or another. I’m talking about sleep procrastination.
What Is Sleep Procrastination?
It’s best to think of sleep procrastination as a barrier blocking you from getting the sleep you need. You may be acutely aware of what it feels like to put off going to sleep, the same way we all know what it’s like to put off a chore or large task (don’t deny it — we’ve all been there). Even if you don’t realize you’re doing it, which many people don’t, it’s still a problem more than likely affecting you, especially if you consider yourself someone who does have trouble getting to sleep most nights. There are both physical as well as emotional causes of sleep procrastination.
In a physical sense, overstimulation tends to occur as a result of electronic devices. Spending the hours before bed in front of a computer, television, or smartphone can mess with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, since the harsh blue light emanating from these screens often sends a false signal to your brain that it’s daylight and therefore time to be awake. As a result, your body may still remain tired, or even exhausted, but your mind will not be able to wind down properly. Try cutting out using electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to see if this helps you get to sleep faster.
On an emotional level, overstimulation can relate to high-stress situations, or even mild signs of depression. If you’ve been high-strung all day, the last thing your body will want to do is lie down and rest. Part of the reason for this may be because you feel nervous about the quiet time before falling asleep, where your anxieties can possibly begin tormenting you. If your emotions are blocking your sleep, consider keeping a journal or diary by your bedside to write a few thoughts right before you go to sleep. One advantage of this is that you won’t have the blue light of a screen in front of you.
Take advantage of these tips to to get to sleep without putting it off.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.