The term bedtime procrastination was coined in 2014 by mental health researchers in the Netherlands. Two years later, the Chinese social media added the word ‘revenge’ to it, adding an emotional connotation to the term. The world is waking up to this modern phenomenon in which people who don’t have much control over their time during the day, refuse to sleep on time to experience a sense of freedom in the late-night hours.
Whether you’re an overworked employee, an exhausted student, an anxious parent or a busy entrepreneur, you may regularly find the urge to scroll endlessly through social media late in the night just to get a few precious hours for yourself. This kind of addictive social media use is pretty much like any other addiction, with serious health ramifications. It leads to interpersonal issues between families and friends, creates unrealistic pressures on the youth, and has aggravated mental discomposure.
What you can do about it:
* Introduce yourself to traditional bedtime rituals such as taking a warm water bath before sleeping, staying away from artificial lights; instead, place a diya or a candle about an arm’s length away and gaze into this light. Keep your eyes still and continue looking at the flame till the eyes water. Then shut them for two seconds. Open again and repeat. This is called trataka and it makes your focus sharper, reduces insomnia and induces sleep. A couple of minutes of daily practice is good enough. If you suffer from psychic problems, do not do this. Connect with yourself. Figure out what you need to do to feel happy without any external influence and make them a steady part of your life.
* Set a time limit for usage of technology. Make a timetable putting down these new rules and keep it in a place you can see it all day. Follow them for at least 21 days before they start turning into a habit.
* Make real-life connections, not just the ones on social media.
* Walk every day or do yogasanas, cycling or swimming. These are all calm-inducing and a good way to expend energy while spending time with yourself.
The writer is an entrepreneur and founder of Anahata, yogini, mountaineer, and philanthropist