What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

“When I’m dead, I’ll sleep.” That is the work-slogan. obsessed’s You may believe that sleeping less is a cost-cutting measure, but not getting enough sleep is detrimental to your health and productivity.

Approximately 90% of the population does not obtain the necessary 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

We tend to disregard what’s beneficial for us until we detect unpleasant side effects of poor decisions, as we do with many elements of healthy life.

You may be sleep deprived if you’re forgetful, exhausted in the middle of the day, or have difficulties concentrating.

It’s tempting to work longer hours in order to get more done, but you won’t be able to sustain a high level of performance if you don’t take breaks. As you get less sleep, you’ll probably notice a decrease in your productivity.

Revenge bedtime procrastination is a phenomena in which people delay going to bed in order to complete things they don’t have time to perform during the day. It’s a means of sacrificing sleep in order to make time for leisure and enjoyment.

In a 2014 paper, the term “bedtime procrastination” was coined. The word’revenge’ was first used in China to describe how people who worked 12-hour days would stay up late as a last resort to reclaim some control over their time.

Following a viral tweet by journalist Daphne K. Lee, the term gained popular. It occurs when “people who don’t have much control over their daily life refuse to sleep early in order to restore some sense of independence during late night hours,” she explained.

Related: Bedtime Routines for Children of Various Ages (Your Go-To Guide)

1. Signs

Staying up late isn’t necessarily a sign of revenge bedtime procrastination. Researchers suggest that three key features define sleep procrastination:

  • The delay in going to sleep must decrease a person’s overall sleep time per night.
  • This delay in going to sleep is not due to any other reason, such as being sick of an environmental source interfering with sleep.
  • People who engage in the behavior are fully aware that it may lead to negative consequences, but they choose to engage in it anyways.

Depending on their situation and why they feel the urge to stay up late, this may effect people differently. For parents of young children, the hours after their children have gone to bed may be the only time they have to do whatever they want.

For many with demanding work schedules, lying on the couch and binge-watching TV shows may be the only time they get to unwind.

Some folks may take advantage of the late-night and early-morning hours to catch up on hobbies or indulge in more energy-intensive activities. For the most part, these activities are focused on items that don’t require much effort.

People love doing things like online shopping, skimming through social media posts, reading, and watching streaming services when they are unable to sleep.

2. Who It Affects

Many people indulge in retaliatory bedtime procrastination from time to time. People with high-stress occupations, those who work long hours, and parents who have little time alone throughout the day are just a few examples of those who indulge in this behaviour frequently.

It usually begins in a minor way. You may decide to stay up late to play games on your phone or catch up on your favourite television shows. 10 or 15 minutes quickly becomes an hour or two.

In other circumstances, you may find yourself up until the wee hours of the morning doing insignificant things before finally succumbing and sleeping. 

Related: The most widely used baby sleep-training techniques

3. Causes

The most prevalent cause of vengeful bedtime procrastination is a general lack of free time during the day, although other variables also play a role.

  • According to a 2014 study published in Frontiers of Psychology, vengeance bedtime procrastination was inversely connected with self-regulation. People who engage in this activity claim to want to sleep, but their actions do not match their intentions.
  • It’s also plausible that persons who procrastinate in bed are more likely to procrastinate in general.
  • It’s also possible that your natural sleeping patterns are a factor. Those who are naturally inclined to be “night owls” may have to force themselves to get up earlier.
  • According to research, the behaviour could be the consequence of a combination of factors, including a person’s natural sleep schedule and self-control resources.

Recent stress from global events, such as the 2019 worldwide pandemic, appears to exacerbate the behaviour.

Reports suggest that around 40% of adults experienced increased problems with sleep during 2020.As the line between work, home, and school became increasingly blurred, many people found that having time alone was hard to come by.

Bedtime procrastination became a way for many to squeeze in some precious alone time during the late-night hours.

Related: Sleep Therapy Techniques

4. Impact

Staying up late on occasion isn’t likely to have a major impact on your sleep schedule, health, or overall well-being. The problem is when revenge bedtime procrastination becomes a regular habit.

Late nights followed by early mornings can result in sleep deprivation. That sleep deprivation can hurt your ability to function the next day and can start to affect your physical and mental health over time.

Negative effects of sleep deprivation caused by revenge bedtime procrastination can potentially include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of cardiac problems
  • Weakened immunity
  • Weight gain
  • Worse memory

Problems with physical health are often linked to poor sleep, but it is also important to note that sleep also plays a pivotal role in mental health and well-being.

Research suggests that sleep problems can even cause or worsen many mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

5. Tips

If revenge bedtime procrastination is a problem for you, here are some things can help.

i) Prioritize Sleep

If your goal is to get better rest, the first thing you can do is make sleep a top priority. Remind yourself why getting to bed on time is important.

If you feel more rested the next day, you’re more likely to have the energy to get through the tasks you need to accomplish. 

Related: How to Get Rid of Insomnia and Sleep Anxiety

ii) Practice Good Sleep Habits

Establishing some quality sleep practices can improve the overall quality and amount of sleep you get.

Some things you can strive to do include having a consistent bedtime and wake-time, skipping alcohol and caffeine in the afternoon and evening, and creating a comfortable sleep environment.

iii) Assess Your Schedule

Examine your daily obligations, as a busy schedule is typically at the foundation of revenge bedtime procrastination.

Cut away the items that aren’t necessary or are taking up too much of your time. If you can, let go of your daytime activities if they are making you sad and unfulfilled.

If you don’t feel bitter of losing those precious hours of your day, you’re less likely to feel the need to avenge it.

iv) Schedule Time for Yourself

Focus on replacing those undesired activities with time to enjoy in some of your favourite pastimes now that you’re taking things out of your schedule.

This may not always be possible, especially for parents or professionals who are unable to detach themselves from their obligations and responsibilities. 

One method to deal with this is to schedule “alone time” as you would any other appointment. Schedule some time for yourself, then find someone to help you out—a friend, babysitter, partner, or family member, for example—while you relax. 

v) Start Your Nighttime Routine Earlier

Another way to fight revenge bedtime procrastination is to begin your nightly routine early. Set an alarm for an hour before you would normally begin getting ready for bed.

Giving yourself this extra time to wind down from the day may help you feel more sleepy, which may help you resist the urge to stay up late. 

Related: Depression Warning Signs That Could Save Your Life

vi) Turn Off the Digital Devices

Turn off the autoplay feature on your streaming service and skip scrolling through social media sites while lying in bed.

Instead, focus on practicing relaxation habits that promote sleep, such as doing some gentle stretches, meditating, or reading a book.The Benefits of Doing a Digital Detox

6. Sleep-walking through your life is dragging

Some people believe they can compensate for a bad night’s sleep. Sleeping in on weekends or taking a nap the next day may make you feel like you’ve made up for missed time.

You might not think this is a huge deal if you’ve never had a health problem as a result of sleep deprivation and have been staying up late throughout high school and college.

You can’t make up for lost sleep, unfortunately. When you follow a regular sleep schedule, your body functions at its optimum. Rest deprivation isn’t like putting a charge on your credit card that you can pay off later. You can’t repay your sleep debt after you’ve lost it.

Some people claim that they can sleep for as little as 6 hours per night. It’s possible that they’re tireder than they think. Just because you’re awake and aware doesn’t guarantee you’re in excellent health.

Our bodies will sleep more effectively if we have to, according to a study published in Brain and Behavior, but our brains will not be able to work at their best.

In reality, a person’s brain behaves as if they’ve had a few drinks if they sleep less than 6 hours per night. Obviously, if you aren’t well-rested, you won’t be able to produce your best work.

7. You’re not yourself when you’re sleep deprived

Only a well-rested mind has the chance to be healthy and productive.

  • You become obstinate when you are exhausted. Nothing makes you more obstinate than the want to slumber. When individuals are fatigued, even the most agreeable people become obstinate. Change necessitates energy, therefore a sleep deprived person will naturally be set in their ways.
  • Don’t even think about being inventive. You have to work extra hard to complete fundamental activities when you haven’t rested. Rest allows you to think of new solutions to difficulties.
  • You will be unmotivated. After one night of inadequate sleep, not only does your brain become less efficient, but your motivation to work lowers as well.  When you’re fatigued, even the simplest chores appear difficult.
  • It appears like waiting is impossible. When you’re sleep deprived, patience goes out the window. If you’re already fatigued, anyone or anything that demands extra work or energy may irritate you.

8. Break the sleep-deprived cycle

There’s still a lot we don’t know about sleep, but we do know that it’s necessary for our brains to work properly. Just as your body requires relaxation after physical exertion, your brain requires genuine breaks to re-energize.

In order to solve difficulties, your mind must rest. Tunnel vision occurs when you focus on a topic for an extended period of time.

Allow yourself to go into diffused thinking mode, where your brain works on the problem as you do other things. When you’re having trouble, the best thing to do is take a break or sleep on the situation.

Sleep deprivation may not appear to be a concern on the surface, but it can lead to a variety of health and productivity issues. You can’t be the best version of yourself if you don’t get enough sleep.

A Word From Verywell

It can be difficult to overcome the practise of vengeful bedtime procrastination. It may take a few days of feeling very weary before you feel obliged to give up those late-night sleep delays in order to obtain some quality rest.

Reassessing how you spend your time each day is frequently the first step toward overcoming bedtime procrastination because the behaviour is ultimately motivated by a feeling that you don’t have control over your time throughout the day.

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