Weirdest Cause of Insomnia – And We ALL Do It! (2 Warning Signs)

By on July 27, 2016
Admit it: You’ve procrastinated before. Whether it’s your daily chores, a heavy workload, or finishing a project on time, we’ve all been bitten by the procrastination bug, and its effects on productivity are immense.

Now new research shows there’s another hidden consequence of procrastination.

According to scientists from the Academic College of Tel Aviv, people who procrastinated faced a higher risk of insomnia, something which, ironically enough, could also make you more likely to procrastinate.

The research appears in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

“And the worse the procrastination, the worse the sleep complaint,” says Ilana Hairston, study author and a senior lecturer at the Academic College of Tel Aviv. “It’s likely that those pangs of “I should have done that already” weighing on our conscience add to sleep trouble. Based on this current understanding of insomnia, the cognitive and emotional effects of procrastination could cause sleep difficulties.”

The Research

In the study, Hairston hypothesized that procrastination led to sleep difficulties, but research on this subject was bleak. To fill in the gap, she asked 598 people to complete online questionnaires, detailing their procrastination and sleep habits. This specifically honed in on how often they dealt with sleep difficulties, such as insomnia.

After looking at the data, Hairston found that her hypothesis was correct–by a large margin. Those who admitted to being habitual procrastinators were up to 3 times more likely to have insomnia; those who didn’t slack off slept like a baby.

Furthermore, procrastinators shared something else in common: Waking up late. Those who procrastinated often were more likely to be self-professed night owls. Those who didn’t procrastinate, on the other hand, usually woke up early.

But the reason why they had trouble falling asleep was the ironic part, say researchers. The reason? Procrastinating made them feel more negative and stressed out–something that exacerbated their sleep disturbances.

“Among Intermediate and Evening Types the relationship between procrastination and sleep was mediated by rumination and negative mood,” write researchers in the journal’s online version. “Results demonstrated that procrastination positively correlated with sleep disturbance, a link moderated by chronotype, such that self-identified Morning Types reported lower procrastination, fewer sleep disturbances, and the two measures did not correlate. These findings suggest that addressing the impact on sleep should be one of the targets of interventions for treating procrastination.”

In the end, it just doesn’t pay to procrastinate, say researchers.

What This Means For You

Feel like putting off that project? Now’s the time to nip those feelings in the bud, say experts. Although it may create less work for you in the short term, your stress levels–and, according to research, your ability to sleep–could pay the ultimate price.

Readers: How often do you procrastinate?

Hey, Procrastinators: When You Get Around To It, Read This and
Procrastination is Linked With Insomnia Symptoms: The Moderating Role of Morningness-Eveningness (Study)

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