Life is short, stay awake: Death anxiety and bedtime procrastination

J Gen Psychol. 2020 Jan-Mar;147(1):43-61. doi: 10.1080/00221309.2019.1633994. Epub 2019 Jul 10.


In the present study, the relation between bedtime procrastination and death anxiety, and also the moderator roles of gender and purpose in life were investigated. Data were collected from 245 participants through an online survey. The results revealed that gender, but not purpose in life, moderated the relation between death anxiety and bedtime procrastination. The effect of death anxiety on bedtime procrastination was significant only for males. Further, this effect was still significant even after controlling circadian energy and self-control. The findings can be explained based on the Terror Management Theory. Bedtime procrastination can be considered risk-taking behavior, and it functions as a world view for males. Moreover, males might have regarded sleep as a waste of time, and therefore, delayed bedtime to increase their non-sleeping lifetime.

Keywords: Bedtime procrastination; death anxiety; gender; purpose in life; sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / complications*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Procrastination*
  • Self-Control
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wakefulness