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The pulse on bedtime procastination

The Pulse on Bedtime Procrastination

Do Your Heart a Favor – Get More Sleep

“Revenge Bedtime Procrastination” has become a common term in the wellness and sleep communities. The term refers to putting off going to bed to do leisure activities that individuals do not have time for during the day. In other words, for many middle-aged people whose days are packed with work and children’s needs, they put off going to sleep for extended amounts of TV and internet scrolling, sometimes even “in bed.” The idea here is that when people feel like they have had no time for themselves in a day, they will often choose entertainment rather than sleep. But did you know that research shows that this “taking back your day” in this way is actually harmful to your overall wellness?

A recent research study published in Nature showed that when middle-aged people reported less sleep and lower quality sleep, they experienced an increased risk of heart disease. Investigators considered how sleep affects heart health across different races and sexes, and although sleep experiences and habits were drastically different, the relationship between sleep health and heart disease did not differ.

Another interesting aspect of this new research was the multifaceted sleep health measures. This concept may sound scientific and complex, but measuring sleep is pretty simple from an individual perspective. In the study, participants wore a watch that measured sleep. They also completed a daily sleep diary. For those of us trying to change our sleep health habits, these practices could be eye-opening. For example, you may “start your bedtime routine” at a certain time with a healthy bedtime in mind. But when do you actually fall asleep? How long does your bedtime routine actually last?

A watch that tracks your sleep could help you better understand how long you slept. I admit that I even go to set my alarm on my phone and see a notification that leads me into an internet rabbit hole for 30 minutes. But wearing a sleep tracker keeps you honest. Think you “got in bed” at 10:30 pm? But how much sleep did the watch report? It might show that you weren’t actually asleep until much later.
Reflecting how rested you feel can also be telling according to this study. You may have been physically in the bed for a long period of time, but how was the quality of your sleep? Sleep habits are often like eating habits. We know what is best for our overall well-being, but sometimes we choose to do the thing that holds immediate gratification (instead of going to sleep). Insomnia, however, may feel less controllable than “revenge sleep procrastination,” but an awareness of your overall sleep quality can help your healthcare provider better support your sleep needs if you’re experiencing insomnia.

As research continues to confirm the importance of multifaceted high-quality sleep, consider the ways that you can support your own healthy sleep habits. For example, add yourself to the ALYKA health app waitlist
and check out the ways we can help you take care of your own health journey. Don’t underestimate sleep in your personal journey towards health resilience. 

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