When it comes to getting to bed on time and staying in dreamland long enough each night, it seems many of us suffer from “retrospective bias.”
Retrospective bias is a term used in psychology to explain the phenomenon that describes why people tend to remember the past differently than it actually played out, often by romanticizing it into something it wasn’t. It might explain why people continue to booze hard: they forget how bad a hangover feels. Retrospective bias is probably also the reason people continue to order sweet-and-sour pork.
In the case of sleep, we often forget how lousy we feel when we don’t get enough. So our retrospective bias keeps us up at night staring at computer screens and TVs, getting second and third winds when our bodies should be sleeping.
But if we drill it into our minds that proper sleep does more important things than just make us feel refreshed in the morning, maybe we’d make it a bigger priority.
Much of the science about sleep is still unknown, but there are emerging theories that connect good sleep not only to overall health but also to improved athletic performance.