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Health and Disease

The Analogy between Procrastination and Sleep Quality

Sleep, the naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, is known to be one of the necessities of a healthy life and unhinge one’s state of stress and worry through a period of relaxation. This article discusses the culprit of procrastination and its correlation with sleep.

By Ilma Khan

Published 4:47 PM EST, Fri March 5, 2021

Introduction

As a high school student and occasional procrastinator, the effect and outcomes of procrastination can be significantly noticed in my daily lifestyle. Procrastination is more than just a tendency to delay tasks, it is a whole system of outcomes and effects that play a role in our daily lives. Affecting us from our sleep schedule to our mood and the way we interact with others. The motivation of this study focused primarily on the examination of relationships between self-reported procrastination and the different dimensions of sleep. More than 8000 students, older than the age of 18 in the U.S completed a survey from the Healthy Minds Study addressing mental health and related issues. The questions asked in this survey brought insight into the mean sleep duration, insomnia symptoms, daytime sleepiness and sleep medication. To view the degree of procrastination in each adult, the General Procrastination Scale was used, allowing each participant to view how much each statement in the scale described themselves. Combining the procrastination and sleep data resulted in different connections being made between the two. As displayed in the study greater levels of procrastination were noticeably associated with greater social jetlag, and shorter weeknight sleep duration, but not weekend night sleep duration. Further on, procrastination was linked with insomnia symptoms and daytime sleepiness but not sleep medication use. Lastly, procrastination can be accompanied by greater social jetlag, shorter sleep duration, and worse sleep quality. The outcomes propose that interruptions to avoid and control procrastination can help adults improve their sleep health.

General Analysis

The indicated article is a good read since it deals with a very familiar and real issue. The simplicity of procrastination and its correspondence with sleep emphasizes the idea of how something little can affect something important and be small but yet become so impactful and powerful. Medicine can be seen as complex, from talking about our DNA to the neurons in our brain we underestimate the focus on the compact ideas. The habit of procrastination is so widespread but yet is still understudied in the realm of health behaviors. Significantly, this article brings aim to the topic of widespread procrastination in young adults and its life-impacting results on sleep. Therefore, this article is a good read, the insight provided and displayed shows us the students to make a difference in our lives that will make us successful and positively benefit us as humans. In today’s society, with the pandemic and the stress that comes with it, we start caving and delaying. We start closing and distancing from reality. The completion or beginning of a task brings us closer to reality but yet we drift away. Therefore, we procrastinate and voluntarily delay even if the delay brings negative impacts. The notable study of the relationship between these two common factors will bring attention to the negativity, interruptions and stress we deal with every day. This article brings awareness to something so simple but yet so powerful in every single human’s life and consequently is viewed as important in today’s society. 

Evaluation of Methods Used

The system of techniques used in this study can be deemed as effective as they provided a sufficient amount of insight and proof into solving the problem and answering the motivation of this study. The methods employed such as using over 8000 participants from a variety of universities were effective as the large sample size provided more sufficient answers. The great simple size reduced the risk of false or inaccurate results in determining how procrastination can affect jetlag, insomnia and sleep duration. The use of a survey that was established many years ago can also be viewed as successful since it is a trusted source and over 200,000 people have responded to the survey, these people come from over 180 different colleges and universities. Seeing that these methods are effective can pursue us to think that these methods can be used to solve other problems. The survey used, the number of participants used and the procrastination scale used, all help towards cracking another mystery and solving another problem. Accurate and trusted sources can always provide true results. The methods used are effective and efficient, therefore they solve all the problems. The results were produced to bring attention to the relationship between sleep and procrastination. This relationship was the main target of this study, the negatives, as well as the positives of this relationship, were intended to come out and they did. The entire problem was solved with these methods.

Audience

As stated before, concerns and worries arise from anything and everything. Worrying and stressing is human nature. Since this study requires the participants to self-report and answer the surveys, the accurate and truthful information can be lied about as well as covered. The concern of whether the participants told the truth or lied can be suggested as a concern of this study. Another concern that can arise from this study is whether the participants were just procrastinating or was there something deeper. Were the patients more seriously affected by procrastination or more seriously having issues with sleep? Is it more than just a relationship between the two? The limitations of this study including the bias from participants and further research needed to play a role in the concerns that can arise. This paper is published in the right journal for the right audience. This journal emphasizes the idea of the population’s health, a group of people and their health. Procrastination affects the population, it affects a large group of people and their health. As highlighted in this study delaying can be a vulnerability factor for poor health, it can cause temptations and increase the distractions people face. Highlighting the negatives of procrastination and posing solutions to avoid this in this article corresponds with the main idea of this journal.

Problems and Admirations

I admire the use of a large sample size since it produces more accurate results but because the participants self-reported their procrastination and sleep habits it can cause the outcomes of this study to be inexact. Through the focus on a specific age group and group of people, undergraduates, young adults, this study provided more sufficient information on similar people and not a variety of people. The variables used were similar therefore provided more precise data. Using trusted resources such as the survey and scale allowed the researchers as well as the participants to be more honest and pose the research as more reliable and correct. Taking out and excluding patients who had very short or long sleep duration, patients with extreme values of sleep timing and participants who were shift workers was a clever proposition as it allowed the participants to give more error-free details. The publication of this paper can result in more studies with longitudinal or experimental designs, and more studies devoted to investigating the potential mediating roles of health behaviors. This study can lead people to access more procrastination treatment programs that benefit their time management skills. It can lead people to use more recommendations that can reduce procrastination. For example, adjusting proximity to temptations such as keeping the cell-phone out of the bedroom, can lead to procrastination being reduced. Lastly, the development of training programs targeting emotion regulation skills can be valuable, as this research showcases, the training of emotion-focused strategies decreases procrastination. Procrastination is so tiny but its impact is large, its simplicity is seen but its effects are complex, and its effects are widespread but it is understudied and underestimated.

Ilma Khan, Youth Medical Journal 2021

References

Li, Xiaoyu, et al. “Do Procrastinators Get Worse Sleep? Cross-Sectional Study of US Adolescents and Young Adults.” SSM – Population Health, Elsevier, 16 Nov. 2019, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827319303362#:~:text=Conclusions,US%20undergraduate%20and%20graduate%20students.

By Ilma Khan

Ilma Khan is a student from Texas. She is a tennis player who is looking to continue playing in college and enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She is currently interested in the fields of medicine specifically neurology and cardiology and hopes to become a cardiothoracic surgeon in the future!

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