Written by Margarita Morgan
June 23, 2014
Unlike most people who fall in the category of sleep procrastinators, I don’t avoid going to bed, I’m simply engaged in doing something else. Perhaps that’s what everyone says, but going to bed is not a chore. To me, sleep is a reward after a long day and instead of procrastinating bed time, I call it building up sleep.
When you work to build up sleep, the moment you hit the pillow your consciousness is embraced by the long and comforting arms of a restful slumber. You look forward to this moment and the furthest thing from your mind is whether or not you should be doing something else instead.
Unlike procrastination where you avoid a task in favor of something more entertaining, when you build up sleep, you want to stop what you are doing in favor of bedtime, but you resist the temptation and engage in your current project to give your body a yearning for sleep so strong that its reward will be well worth the time it took to get there. To this end I like to read, hand write in my journal or my favorite, I binge-watch a TV show. Regardless of the project I’m involved with, guilt doesn’t make me look at my pillow with furlong glances nor does it make me wish I would stop doing what I’m doing. I know that by the time I’m done with my pastime, I have a nice warm bed and a soft pillow waiting to take me on a peaceful journey that will let my body rest better.
If you suffer from sleep procrastination, a term newly defined by researchers in the Netherlands, I suggest you change the paradigm in which you view your circumstances. Consider the following point of view as well. Procrastination is a pastime that brings about a lot of unintended benefits. For people who thrive on stress, it is a great source of vitality. Also, in avoiding something unpleasant, your creativity will expand to prompt your attention to other projects that otherwise would be forgotten.
Either way you look at it, procrastinating sleep or building up sleep, the punishment or reward lies in the benefits you extract from it. Filling your evenings with projects that are impossible to do while the rest of your family is awake could be a great way to build up sleep. Try this new perspective. I believe it will make you appreciate better the things you do before bedtime. Maybe it’s just me, but building up sleep sounds and feels much better.