Decoding nighttime sleeping patterns
BY wangxingwei from 21st Century
Published 2019-01-28
Our special body clock plays an important role in bedtime procrastination. CFP

When we wake up feeling sleepy and with dark circles under eyes, many of us often think: “I’m going to bed earlier tomorrow!” But however determined we are, chances are that we don’t stick to our promise.

This behavior is called “bedtime procrastination”, and results from lack of self-control and our body clock, reported HuffPost.

According to a study carried out by a group of health psychologists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 2014, bedtime procrastination is a common problem. In their study, 53 percent of the 2,400 participants said they didn’t follow their sleep schedule, delaying it at least twice a week.

It’s found that they delayed bedtime not because they liked to stay up late, but they couldn’t stop doing other trivial things, which were keeping them up in the first place.

“People who generally have trouble resisting temptations and adhering to their intentions are also more likely to delay going to bed,” Floor Kroese, a psychologist at Utrecht University, further explained to HuffPost.

Yet, according to scientists, lack of self-control is not the only thing to blame. Our body clock also plays an important role when it comes to bedtime.

In order to check the influence of the body clock on sleep, psychologists at Ulm University in Germany studied the sleep patterns of 108 people in February. It was found that those who get up late are more likely to postpone their bedtime than those who wake early every morning.

And more surprisingly, night owls would go to bed late at the very beginning of the weekday, even though they had to get up early for work and school. It’s their special body clock that plays a part in delaying their bedtime, reported Popular Science.

“The intention to go to bed earlier is not enough,” Jana Kuhnel, a psychologist at Ulm University, concluded in Popular Science. “Biological processes need to support this intention.”

People always think that bedtime procrastination isn’t a big problem, but as Kroese told Popular Science, “the choices we make that affect our sleep could turn out to be pretty important for our health.”

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Ji Yuan)
Determined  有决心的
Procrastination  拖延症
Schedule  日程
Delaying  延迟
Trivial  琐碎的
Temptations  诱惑
Adhering  坚持
Processes  进程
Affect  影响