Bedtime procrastination: introducing a new area of procrastination

Front Psychol. 2014 Jun 19;5:611. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00611. eCollection 2014.


Background: Procrastination is a prevalent and problematic phenomenon that has mostly been studied in the domain of academic behavior. The current study shows that procrastination may also lead to harmful outcomes in the area of health behavior, introducing bedtime procrastination as an important factor related to getting insufficient sleep and consequently affecting individual well-being. Bedtime procrastination is defined as failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so.

Methods: To empirically support the conceptual introduction of bedtime procrastination, an online survey study was conducted among a community sample (N = 177). The relationship between bedtime procrastination and individual difference variables related to self-regulation and general procrastination was assessed. Moreover, it was investigated whether bedtime procrastination was a predictor of self-reported sleep outcomes (experienced insufficient sleep, hours of sleep, fatigue during the day).

Results: Bedtime procrastination was negatively associated with self-regulation: people who scored lower on self-regulation variables reported more bedtime procrastination. Moreover, self-reported bedtime procrastination was related to general reports of insufficient sleep above and beyond demographics and self-regulation.

Conclusions: Introducing a novel domain in which procrastinators experience problems, bedtime procrastination appears to be a prevalent and relevant issue that is associated with getting insufficient sleep.

Keywords: MTurk; health; procrastination; self-regulation; sleep.