Boredom Might Be The Reason You’re Not Sleeping Properly

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 05 Apr 2021 15:41
Boredom Might Be The Reason You're Not Sleeping ProperlyShutterstock

A new study has shown that, if you’re not sleeping properly, it could be down to boredom.

I think we can all agree that the pandemic has spiked boredom levels in a lot of people, and not only is being bored, well, boring, it might be affecting our quality of sleep.


Researchers have looked into the potential links between boredom and poor sleep, and the results found that not sleeping properly could be down to inattention and bedtime procrastination.


A correlational study was conducted with 270 participants between the ages of 18 and 69, where boredom was measured as ‘boredom proneness, fidgeting, and mind wandering’.

As per Science Direct, their findings read:


The analysis with boredom proneness as the predictor showed that boredom proneness predicted inattention, which in turn was associated with increased bedtime procrastination and subsequently poorer sleep quality.

Meanwhile, fidgeting and mind wandering didn’t appear to ‘yield significant serial mediation effects’ and the only link these two things had with poor quality sleep was when they came under the umbrella of bedtime procrastination.

The study concluded, ‘The findings shed light on how boredom affects bedtime procrastination and brought important implications to the interventions in dealing with bedtime procrastination.’

Study author Ai Ni Teoh, a senior lecturer of psychology at James Cook University Singapore, explained how exactly bedtime procrastination can affect your sleep.

Pexels Pexels

Teoh told PsyPost: ‘The consequences of bedtime procrastination could range from sleep insufficiency to health issues and psychosocial and cognitive performance. Therefore, bedtime procrastination is a problem that needs to be tackled.’

Explaining the link between inattention and procrastination, Teoh continued:

Inattention was a mechanism contributing to bedtime procrastination and sleep quality. Specifically, people who were prone to boredom were more likely to be inattentive to the present moment. Such inattention in turn predicted procrastination in bedtime, which subsequently compromised sleep quality.


So, how do you avoid this and get a good night’s kip, I hear you ask? Dr. Maja Schaedel, Clinical Psychologist and Co-founder of The Good Sleep Clinic, told UNILAD that people should remove TVs and clocks from their bedroom.

She explained, ‘Your body needs to develop a strong association between bed and sleep and when we watch TV or look at our phones in bed it confuses our body. There’s nothing worse than checking the time and finding it’s 3am!’

Dr Schaedel also highlighted the importance of being active during the day to help encourage sleepiness in the evening.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Now, Psychology, Sleep, Study


  1. PsyPost

    New study sheds light on how boredom affects bedtime procrastination and sleep quality