Why ‘Bedtime Procrastination’ Hurts Health and 4 Ways to Beat It

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Tech gadgets — whether they be smartphones or tablets — function to make day-to-day life easier and information more accessible. But one vice affiliated with the rise of tech gadgets is their ability to distract the user. Those who own gadgets can attest how easy it is to get distracted with viral videos, listicles, and the other perils that come with too much convenience.

One particular facet of life that is directly affected by gadgets is your bedtime, and according to researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, many gadgets play a part in a phenomenon called “bedtime procrastination,” which keeps you up at night longer than you need to be awake. The exact definition of the phrase is “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so.”

“Bedtime procrastination was negatively associated with self-regulation: people who scored lower on self-regulation variables reported more bedtime procrastination,” wrote the authors of the study, which was published in the June issue of peer-reviewed journal Frontiers Psychology. “Moreover, self-reported bedtime procrastination was related to general reports of insufficient sleep above and beyond demographics and self-regulation.”

The findings of the study are significant for one reason in particular: Sleep deprivation takes a toll on your body, and information that can help curb it is vital. Chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for a wide array of health conditions, including heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. What’s more, sleep deprivation has been linked to a diminished sex drive and lower cognitive processes (translation: it makes you stupid), contributes to depression, ages your skin, makes you forgetful, increases the likelihood of weight gain, and impairs judgment.

Considering the many effects of sleep deprivation and not getting enough sleep, one can understand the concern with bedtime procrastination. If you are looking for ways to battle bedtime procrastination, then consider these four tips on how to get into a habit of sleeping on time.

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