The Associations between Personality and Chronotype in relation to Bedtime Procrastination

The Associations between Personality and Chronotype in relation to Bedtime Procrastination Name:





The Associations between Personality and Chronotype in relation to Bedtime Procrastination

Bedtime procrastination has been described as the phenomenon whereby an individual voluntarily goes to sleep at a later time than intended, without being influenced by environmental factors. Chronic procrastination can have serious consequences on the mental and physical health of an individual (Kroese, Evers, Adriaanse, & de Ridder, 2014). Chronotype refers to the likelihood of an individual sleeping a particular time within a 24-hour cycle. Extensive research has linked an individual’s chronotype to the specific behavioral traits and their conceptions of time. According to Milfont and Schwarzenthal, 2014), inter individual variations exist within a psychological and time dynamic, which affects overall perception and behavior of people. The authors provide a binary of “larks” (those who are active during the day) and “owls” those who are active at night. Therefore, the study of bedtime procrastination in relation to personality and sleep wake patterns is an important step that allows researcher to identify solutions and enhance overall public health.

As such, larks will prefer to go to bed early and wake up early in the morning while owls will go to bed late and wake up late. These two groups have shown differences in cognitive abilities, aspects of personality, and overall lifestyle habits. In the study to evaluate psychological differences between these two groups, a series of studies was carried out in different populations including Germany, Turkey, and Poland. The results indicated that morning people were future oriented while evening people were more present hedonistic oriented. An explanation provided for this phenomenon is that morning people have a higher sense of self and impulse control as compared to those who prefer to sleep later in the day. Larks are more focused on the future because of the tendency to be concerned about social consequences, in comparison to owls.

From a self-regulation point of view, bedtime procrastination has affected millions of individuals (adults), who have reported going to bed later than they had intended. This results in insufficient sleep, lower concentration, and lower productivity while awake. Within the study, researchers sought to find out some of the causes, effects, and remedies of sleep deprivation from a self-regulatory point of view. This allows them to evaluate some of the internal, external, and psychological aspects of sleep procrastination. Results revealed that a low level of self-control contributed largely to sleep procrastination and deprivation. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that people with low self-regulatory skills are more sensitive to distractions in their immediate environment, which may keep them awake during the night.

People with such characteristics will tend to focus on present results and pleasures, rather than long-term goals (in this case, sleeping early so that they do not wake up the next morning feeling tired). On the other hand, those who have higher self-regulatory skills are less likely to become distracted by their environment, more likely to sleep at the intended time and less likely to wake up feeling tired. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can be said to be related to poor decision-making skills as a result of mental distractions and fatigue. Those with poor self-regulation skills are more likely to possess more common personality attributes such as additional health behavior problems including insufficient physical exercise and poor diet (Kroese, Evers, Adriaanse, & de Ridder, 2014).

Randler (2008) posits that sleep wake variables are affected by not only personality traits but also social, cultural, and biological differences. The author maintains that morningness and eveningness was a significant factor in determining the ways through which individuals relate to their environment, others, and perceive events. It also affects their psychological state of mind through affecting the manner in which people internalize their environment. For instance, the data provided showed that morningness was closely associated with optimism. Data from the research revealed a correlation of age to sleep wake patterns and procrastination; older adults tended to prefer eveningness (similar to owls) than younger adults (Kroese, Evers, Adriaanse, & de Ridder, 2014). However, this phenomenon changed over time, where both morningness and eveningness alternated over short periods. In relation to personality traits and state of mind, morningness was linked to being thorough, careful, and vigilant as compared to eveningness, where concentration levels were reported to be significantly lower in the studied samples.

Another personality trait that was being studied was introversion and extraversion of people who preferred morning to evening. While previous studies revealed that morningness was negatively linked to extraversion and vice versa, results of the study showed no significant correlation. A reserve study also revealed that conscientious individuals were more likely to have more control over their sleep patterns. This is because their alertness allowed them to consider long-term consequences of sleeping late. Through sleeping early and avoiding procrastination, they are able to wake up early and become productive in the morning hours. Similar to previous studies, people who were active during the morning hours were more likely to have higher self-control skills than those who were active at night. Interestingly, neuroticism was positively related to eveningness in female participants and no correlation was present in men (Randler, 2008).

In a similar study, researchers sought to find out the relationship between personality and bedtime procrastination. Procrastination is described as a public health issue, where those with little to no external reason to sleep late will do so, thereby having insufficient sleep. This leads to poor health, lower concentration, and lower overall productivity (Kroese, De Ridder, Evers, & Adriaanse, 2014). Limitations of the variables were age variations and considerations for other factors such as insomnia and other common sleeping disorders, which revealed a lack of correlation with chronotype and bedtime procrastination. Another significant limitation is that while sufficient resources cover sleep patterns and disorders, there is inadequate information on the relationship between morningness, eveningness, and their respective personality traits, which serve as either causes or effects.

Another complication arises when evaluating personality traits of individuals whose occupation require them to work at different times of the day, such as afternoon, evening, or night shifts. Very limited resources have covered the propensity of personality traits of those required to work at night than those who are voluntarily prone to be active at the same time (Kroese, De Ridder, Evers, & Adriaanse, 2014). Current studies aim to find out whether sleeping disorders have a direct relationship with personality traits such as introversion and extraversion, neuroticism, optimism and pessimism, and self-regulation skills. Current study also aims to find out whether health can be enhanced through making adjustments in an individual’s behavioral traits in relation to their sleep and wake patterns.





Kroese, F., De Ridder, D., Evers, C., & Adriaanse, M. (2014). Bedtime procrastination: introducing a new area of procrastination. Frontiers in Psychology, 5.

Kroese, F., Evers, C., Adriaanse, M., & de Ridder, D. (2014). Bedtime procrastination: A self-regulation perspective on sleep insufficiency in the general population. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(5), 853-862.

Milfont, T. & Schwarzenthal, M. (2014). Explaining why larks are future-oriented and owls are present-oriented: Self-control mediates the chronotype–time perspective relationships. Chronobiology International, 31(4), 581-588.

Randler, C. (2008). Morningness–eveningness, sleep–wake variables, and big five personality factors. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(2), 191-196.


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