I know, I know – it is the silliest thing ever said – too lazy to sleep?! I am sure you thought “lazy” and “sleeping ” must be best friends but I just (last evening to be precise) discovered how I have been super wrong about this all along! There is a scientific phenomenon called “BEDTIME PROCRASTINATION” and trust me, it’s the most interesting thing I have learnt this year. So let me start from the very beginning and try to explain.
So, I have always been someone concerned about sleep – always. I wake up thinking I have too little hours of sleep, I am too light a sleeper to sleep through noisy weekend mornings, look up online tips on insomnia and come up with a zillion bedtime routines to calm myself to sleep. When I was in college, I found it even more difficult for everyone there practically slept for a couple of hours – I had a permanent note on my door saying “Sleeping, do not disturb”. What I am trying to say is: Sleep has been always my number one priority in life and I genuinely believed if I could just fix that part of my life, everything else would fall into place. Or that’s what I believed.
Then came the famous 2016 with Clinical Depression and sleep became even more difficult I would try avoiding sleep altogether. I had the worst of nightmares where I would wake up shivering and crying – so avoiding sleep seemed like a decent option. Towards the end of 2016 and now 2017, things started looking better for me and since there were fewer nightmares, I now tried sleeping earlier and more at night. That’s when I started realising that whatever I did was fruitless – I could never get more than 4-5 hours mostly.
Slowly it dawned on me: I am a bedtime procrastinator! This link will take you to the actual research done on this topic.
See, for me, it’s technically easy to be in bed by 10 p.m. since my whole family religiously goes to bed by 9:30 p.m. (The son around 8:30, the Dad around 9:00 and the husband 9:30 p.m.). All three are easy sleepers and apart from the youngest one who wants to talk non-stop before sleeping, they all fall asleep without any fuss. Around 10:00 p.m., my home is super silent and attracts me to enjoy “me time”. And then I get into various activities like mindful colouring, meditation, sometimes Netflix and more often than not, a book I want to finish reading overnight. Sometimes it is also slightly important stuff like writing a blog, editing an image or attending a live online class.
It is not that I am not sleepy – I am just putting off sleep by engaging myself in activities that are not urgent and sometimes not even important and delaying sleep time. I am well aware of the consequences because I know it is impossible to stay in bed late mornings when the family is rushing to school and work. I know it will leave me tired and functioning below my best standards and I will end up blaming “sleep deprivation”. Overall the mind gets convinced that it is all because I had to stay up late doing something very important and urgent and the quiet of the night was the only time I could have done that. Even last night, I wanted to write this blog once I read about this concept but somehow forced myself to not open the computer then.
Now that I am realising this silly phenomenon, am more than determined to change my evening routine and go to bed on time. And what better than a brand new month to start something new! I want to stick to a bedtime routine of winding down by 9:00 p.m. ( even put an alarm for that time) and ensure I only read/meditate after that time and not for a total of more than 30 minutes. Absolutely no screen to stare at and replace my phone alarm with an actual alarm clock. I could stop screen activities around 8:00 p.m. maybe.
I am super excited about giving this a try – it might help solving for me a lifetime problem I have been living with.
Thank you for reading and hope it helps at least some of you too.