5

votes

Procrastinating sleep...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 02, 2012 at 3:31 AM

There are probably some more approriate forums out there to be posting this question, but next to food I think sleep is crucial to good health.

For some reason I procrastinate sleep... there's really no other way to put it. I'll tell myself, "Ok, tonight I'm in bed at 10 pm, no later" and I'll end up getting into bed at 2 or 3 am, sometimes later. This happens almost every night. I put off sleep by going on the internet, watching TV, etc. Anything to delay getting into bed. I think of turning the lights off and getting into bed as almost a "lonely" experience, hard to explain. I can often fall asleep soon after getting in bed, but choose to delay the process until I'm truly exhausted or know I'll fall asleep at the wheel tomorrow if I don't get into bed immediately.

This is more of a psychological question, but like I said, I think sleep can be just as important as food in health. I'm just wondering if this is at all common and what it means, has anyone else experienced this, and how did they fix it?

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 03, 2012
at 08:52 PM

2 hours before you go to bed. I am in my blacked out room about two hours before I can finally fall asleep, so maybe there is a connection there. (that last sentence shouldn't say "however." Confusing, sorry.)

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 03, 2012
at 08:49 PM

@Dangph: by 'wasting time' i mean staying up doing unnecessary activities when i should be sleeping in order to get my 8-9 hours for good health. I think your explanation about weighing immediate pleasure with future benefit is useful, particularly when I'm not feeling sleepy, so immediate fun seems better than boring/lonely sleep. And your proposed solution, timely melatonin production, coudl make me feel much more sleepy than i do and motivate me to sleep and not discount the future benefits. However, as I understand it, the blue light blocking glasses are supposed to go on about(cont'd..)

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 03, 2012
at 03:05 AM

I should point out that most indoor lights have a significant blue component in the light they emit. You can see the blue part of the spectrum if you look at the "rainbow" on a CD or DVD.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 02, 2012
at 09:45 PM

(cont.) However, if we are feeling sleepy, then bed starts seeming more attractive. That's the point of the glasses. You wear them at night, melatonin production starts, you start to feel sleepy or at least less wide awake, and the balance tips somewhat towards going to bed.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 02, 2012
at 09:41 PM

@PaleoVenus, what do you mean by wasting time before sleep? I think the problem in essence is pretty easy to understand. If we stay up late, we gain free time. Most of us don't have a lot free time. It's valuable. We get to do fun things. We weigh that against sleep which is lonely and boring. Fun things now if we stay up (just a few more minutes ...), or some benefit in the future if we go to bed. How do you choose? It's easy to discount to future benefits. That's why we stay up, in my opinion.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:43 PM

Actually, where I see the discipline coming in is not so much forcing yourself to go to bed, because it's not a great idea to lie awake in bed, but forcing yourself to get up at the exact same time every day, even if it's a weekend. I had to do this for a month before I saw results, and getting up at 5 a.m. on Sunday took all the discipline I had.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:28 PM

It originally felt just ... *wrong* to get up earlier than I had to on weekends, but it made a huge difference.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:31 PM

I don't think it's a Melatonin thing that Matt is describing (though I can't possibly be sure). I'm having the same experience as Matt, and I don't watch tv, I black out my room, and I have blue light eliminating software on my computer. I aslo get up at the same time everyday and work out even if i'm dead tired. I still find myself wasting an hour or two before I can commit to falling asleep., even if five hours earlier i could barely keep my eyes open at work, so frustrating! Is this insomnia? Seems less severe than that, as i do get to sleep eventually.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Matt, you have described my feelings exactly, right down to the "lonely" part. Will be interested to see people's answers on this.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:21 PM

Completely agree with the second paragraph. Figuring out how to get up at the hour I wanted to was actually an intuitive exercise in helping myself figure out when I needed to hit the sack.

Ab7246480d902e196dd29f74e828d0cf

(65)

on May 02, 2012
at 11:27 AM

Hey Matt, I hear you. I've been 'suffering' like this for past two months. I find myself browsing internet, watching nonsense on tv until 2 or 3 am, while having to get up at 7 am. I am useless the next day, can't exercise because of the lack of energy, my diet goes out of the window, I'm depressed, cranky..it's like a vicious circle and sometimes I feel I really need a professional help. Although it doesn't seem to affect you as seriously as it does me, I am curious what people have to say. I think I should literally force myself to go to bed, to be disciplined, as tdgor pointed out...

F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on May 02, 2012
at 04:48 AM

Completely agree Matt - in fact, I'd almost argue sleep is the most important factor since without adequate sleep it's hard to make optimum decisions on nutrition and fitness and your body can't recover properly!

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3 Answers

2
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:46 AM

I've been like this my entire life. I think it's common. Sleep can be pretty boring, after all.

The best solution for me has been to be very disciplined about getting up at the same time every day. Over time, when I have practiced this discipline, it has been easier to go to bed more readily, but I have to be absolutely consistent.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:21 PM

Completely agree with the second paragraph. Figuring out how to get up at the hour I wanted to was actually an intuitive exercise in helping myself figure out when I needed to hit the sack.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:28 PM

It originally felt just ... *wrong* to get up earlier than I had to on weekends, but it made a huge difference.

1
7e13e284a1bafd7b4de14a50ee96140c

on May 02, 2012
at 06:24 AM

put an alarm for when you want to sleep or earlier and develop some sort of a habit/routine, maybe read a book or journal

0
5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 02, 2012
at 09:25 AM

Get some blue blocking glasses, and wear them for an hour or two before bed. The blue light from the TV, the computer screen, and your light bulbs will suppress melatonin production. Melatonin makes you sleepy.

I got some glasses from Low Blue Lights. (I'm not connected with this company apart from being a customer.) They do seem to help me.

I also agree with paleoguy's idea of reading in bed. I find that helps too.

Another idea is to get completely ready for bed (shower, brush teeth, etc.) before you start browsing the internets or watching TV. That way the barrier to entry is lower, so to speak.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:31 PM

I don't think it's a Melatonin thing that Matt is describing (though I can't possibly be sure). I'm having the same experience as Matt, and I don't watch tv, I black out my room, and I have blue light eliminating software on my computer. I aslo get up at the same time everyday and work out even if i'm dead tired. I still find myself wasting an hour or two before I can commit to falling asleep., even if five hours earlier i could barely keep my eyes open at work, so frustrating! Is this insomnia? Seems less severe than that, as i do get to sleep eventually.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 03, 2012
at 08:49 PM

@Dangph: by 'wasting time' i mean staying up doing unnecessary activities when i should be sleeping in order to get my 8-9 hours for good health. I think your explanation about weighing immediate pleasure with future benefit is useful, particularly when I'm not feeling sleepy, so immediate fun seems better than boring/lonely sleep. And your proposed solution, timely melatonin production, coudl make me feel much more sleepy than i do and motivate me to sleep and not discount the future benefits. However, as I understand it, the blue light blocking glasses are supposed to go on about(cont'd..)

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 02, 2012
at 09:45 PM

(cont.) However, if we are feeling sleepy, then bed starts seeming more attractive. That's the point of the glasses. You wear them at night, melatonin production starts, you start to feel sleepy or at least less wide awake, and the balance tips somewhat towards going to bed.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 02, 2012
at 09:41 PM

@PaleoVenus, what do you mean by wasting time before sleep? I think the problem in essence is pretty easy to understand. If we stay up late, we gain free time. Most of us don't have a lot free time. It's valuable. We get to do fun things. We weigh that against sleep which is lonely and boring. Fun things now if we stay up (just a few more minutes ...), or some benefit in the future if we go to bed. How do you choose? It's easy to discount to future benefits. That's why we stay up, in my opinion.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 03, 2012
at 03:05 AM

I should point out that most indoor lights have a significant blue component in the light they emit. You can see the blue part of the spectrum if you look at the "rainbow" on a CD or DVD.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 03, 2012
at 08:52 PM

2 hours before you go to bed. I am in my blacked out room about two hours before I can finally fall asleep, so maybe there is a connection there. (that last sentence shouldn't say "however." Confusing, sorry.)

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