How would you analyze the gramatical form of the bold part of this sentence:
A significant number of people try to catch up on their sleep at the weekend instead of getting enough sleep during the week.
I think this is a prepositional phrase made up of a preposition (instead of) and a verb in its -ing form (getting). Or is getting a gerund? I am not entirely clear on the difference or if there is a difference.
edit: to clarify, this is an exercise that I have been assigned, the three words in bold need to have their form analyzed. So the focus of the first part of my question is not on the meaning, but on form (prepositional phrase: preposition + -ing verb or gerund). My question is really if you agree that it is 1) a proepositional phrase and 2) if the second half of the prepositional phrase is an ing verb form or a gerund (as I'm not clear on the difference, if there is). The second half of the question focuses on the "meaning" of instead of getting in this sentence. I based my answer on this entry https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/prepositional-phrases?q=Prepositional%2Bphrases
I would also like to ask if this description of the meaning in this context is adequate:
The author uses the expression instead of getting to refer to one action (sleeping more on the weekend) replacing another (getting enough sleep during the week). In other words, the interviewed subjects try to catch up on their sleep on the weekends in lieu of obtaining enough sleep during the week.
edit 2 I've changed my meaning to the following: The author uses the expression instead of to contrast between one action that the interviewed people attempt to make happen (sleep more on the weekend) from another that does not happen (getting enough sleep during the week). In other words, the interviewed subjects attempt to catch up on their sleep on the weekends and they don’t get enough sleep during the week.
edit 3 I've changed my form analysis to the following:
Instead of getting is a prepositional phrase, consisting in a preposition (instead of) followed by a verb in its gerund form (getting, the -ing form of the verb get), which is the first part of the verb phrase (getting enough sleep) that is the object of the preposition.