Stop me if you’ve thought this: just a couple more turns of Civ 5. Just a one more thing on Netflix. Know what? I’d better unwind a bit more with a cigar.
A new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology suggests that you’re not alone: sleep procrastination is a real thing, and it’s responsible for a lot of our sleeplessness. Researchers surveyed over two thousand people (all free from sleep disorders or shift work) in the Netherlands about sleep schedules and their self-control. Participants also kept a sleep diary for a week.
Researchers found that their subjects averaged 7.2 hours of sleep per night. 17.5% of them felt they could use more, and over 50% thought they didn’t get enough sleep more than a couple nights a week. According to the sleep journals, 12.7% of the lost sleep could be explained by self-reported bedtime procrastination—instead of going to bed, reading, watching TV, going out, and more.
According to researchers, “It can be speculated that people who have low self-regulation skills are more likely to keep watching the late night movie, or play yet another computer game despite knowing they might regret it the next morning when waking up tired.”
So, if you’re reading this at a late hour: what the hell is your excuse? Go to bed.