How Procrastination Literally Keeps You Up At Night
Procrastinating doesn’t just make your to-do list longer—it could actually keep you up at night, a new study from Israel suggests.
Researchers surveyed nearly 600 people about their procrastination habits, asking them how much they identified with statements like “When I have a deadline, I wait ’til the last minute,” and “I stall on initiating new activities.”
The procrastinators — people who scored above the median on the survey — were 1.5 to 3 times more likely to have symptoms of insomnia, like severe difficulty falling asleep, than those who scored lower on the test.
Putting things off can turn you into a worrier, says study author Ilana Hairston, Ph.D., a professor at The Academic College of Tel Aviv in Israel. You may constantly think about your impending deadlines and insurmountable workload over and over, even before bed. Thoughts like that put your brain in an amped-up state, making it impossible to fall asleep, Hairston says.
That creates a vicious cycle: Lack of sleep can make it hard to concentrate the next day, she says, causing you to delay your work even more because you can’t focus on the tasks in front of you.
So consider this your inspiration to close Facebook right this second and start the next item on your to-do list.