bedtime procrastination

Iphone 3GS

I have not been sleeping well for months now.

I could say I don’t know why, but I do: I’ve been staying on my phone until the wee hours. It’s become a bad habit that’s hard to quit.

It started innocently enough. When I first put the CPAP mask on, it’s hard for me to breathe in rhythm with the machine. I feel panicky and claustrophobic. Distracting myself helps; taking my mind off my breath lets it fall into the prescribed pattern more quickly. It’s easy to grab my phone to read something as a distraction, and I don’t need to turn a light on and disturb David.

Unfortunately, one article becomes two, one game of Ticket to Ride becomes fifteen, one peek at Twitter becomes an hour of mindless scrolling… and before I know it, I have been up for half the night.

I have been distracted from the CPAP, though, so I guess it has served some purpose.

(Of course, the energetic feeling that getting-enough-oxygen is supposed to give me gets canceled right out by getting-only-a-few-hours-of-sleep.)

Apparently, I am not the only one with this problem. Researchers have realized that “bedtime procrastination” – something that I used to associate with Quinland’s endless excuses for not going to bed at night – is a brand-new sleep disorder that has serious ramifications for physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can cause difficulty concentrating, poor decision-making, and impaired reaction times, as well as lowered immunity, weight gain, and heart disease. Hmmm… I may have every one of those but the heart disease. Yet.

So I’ve decided to give my electronic devices a rest at night. I will put on the CPAP mask before 11 pm and then play ONE game of Ticket to Ride (which takes exactly six minutes – plenty of time to get settled in). I’ll then turn my phone off and get to sleep. I’ve done it successfully for two nights already! Let’s see if I can keep it up.

I’ve got 10 minutes to get to bed. Good night, y’all.

Iphone 3GS” by Aitor Aguirregabiria / CC BY

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