Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

The phrase “revenge bedtime procrastination” initially brings about an image of a toddler standing up in their bed, bawling their eyes out as they fight to keep them open. And this performance, put on for your benefit, stems from them not wanting to go to sleep so that you won’t be catching any Z’s anytime soon either. 

However, that is not precisely what the phrase means. It is a psychological phenomenon that is becoming more common and it is affecting the sleep habits and lives of adults everywhere.

What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

The first official mention of revenge bedtime procrastination is in an article written by Dr. Floor Kroese, a behavioral scientist from the Netherlands, in 2014.  In her publication, Kroese says revenge bedtime procrastination occurs when someone goes “to bed later than intended while no external circumstances are accountable for doing so.”

To put that in terms we can all understand, it’s when we go to bed late for no reason at all other than we want to stay awake. And we do this even when we realize it is not in our best interests. The reason we do this, typically, is in an attempt to fit more leisure time into our overly-stuffed schedule.

Some studies say that this phenomenon is directly linked to a person’s lack of self-control. However, others say that people who fall prey to revenge bedtime procrastination are attempting to simply gain more control over their lives.

Where Does “Revenge” Come Into Play?

The “revenge” aspect of revenge bedtime procrastination comes from the act of defiance against one’s better judgment to do the right thing, in this case, going to bed in a timely fashion that will allow you to function optimally the next day.

Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

This psychological phenomenon often affects people who typically do not derive much pleasure from their daily activities. Therefore, in the evening hours, they tend to engage in as many activities that bring them joy as they possibly can.  The trade-off for adding some fun in their day means that they will often suffer from insufficient sleep or sleep deprivation.  

People who tend to suffer the most from revenge bedtime procrastination include:

  • People who experience high amounts of stress at their job.
  • People (mostly women, studies show) who experience high amounts of stress at their job and then go home and engage in many other non-paid high-stress activities (ex. homework, putting the kids to bed, etc.)
  • Those who naturally procrastinate.
  • People who work extensive hours regularly.

There is also evidence that the pandemic has caused a higher percentage of the population to experience revenge bedtime procrastination. This seems to be because so many people have completely changed or abandoned their regular sleep schedule altogether because of the odd, unusual working arrangements caused by the pandemic.

What are the Effects of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

The lack of a good night’s rest often impacts both your physical and mental wellbeing. We must get a sufficient amount of sleep every night to function properly the next day.  

Just a few things that can happen as a result of insufficient sleep include:

  • Uneven or unpleasant moods
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of work or academic productivity
  • Increased depression and anxiety
  • An increase in heart problems
  • An increased chance that vaccinations will not be effective

Revenge bedtime procrastination may allow you to feel as if you have more control over your life, but, in reality, it is taking away your freedom in other aspects of your life.

How Can I Avoid Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

There are a variety of suggestions to help prevent revenge bedtime procrastination. A few include:

  • Keep to a regularly scheduled bedtime.
  • Stop screen time about an hour before your bedtime so that your brain can prepare for sleep.
  • Take a hot bath or shower to help your body relax in preparation for bedtime.
  • Journal so that you can mentally “dump” the day’s stress from your brain.
  • Allow for relaxing activities such as meditation or reading before bed.
  • Make sure that your sleep environment is relaxing and welcoming.

Final Thoughts on Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

As the world and society continue to change and evolve, we are sure to encounter new issues that some might have never imagined possible just a few short years ago. Revenge bedtime procrastination seems to be one of those issues that manifested because of our increasingly hectic lifestyles.

Participating in revenge bedtime procrastination might seem like a way to regain a sense of freedom and control in your life. However, remember, you are simply creating more problems for yourself in the long run, as lack of sleep hurts other aspects of your life.

 

Bedtime Routine for Better Rest

Sleep is essential, and the quality of your sleep has a significant impact on how you feel throughout the day. Good sleep can help reduce stress, improve mood, and even boost creativity. It’s also been linked to good health overall. 

As your day comes to an end, there are some things you can do to help your mind and body wind down for bed. The routines you follow to get your bedtime started can make a big difference in how well you sleep.

This article discusses some simple bedtime routines that will help ensure better sleep for you tonight!

Why Is Sleep Important?

Sleep is crucial because it’s what allows our body and mind to repair and recharge. You could be sleep-deprived without even knowing it. And if you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, it can affect your mood, mental well-being, and physical health. Why?

When you’re tired, even the slightest things become difficult to accomplish, whether it’s remembering your friend’s name or staying focused on a project at work. Plus, you could just feel awful!

Sleep has also been proven to boost creativity and problem-solving skills. Think about how often creative or innovative ideas come to mind when you’re in bed! It tends to be an ideal place to let your mind wander and process the day’s events.

How Sleep Affects Your Health

As if that wasn’t enough, poor sleep habits can affect your physical health as well. If you don’t get enough quality sleep, it can lead to conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and obesity.

Everyone is different when it comes to sleep needs. However, there are some recommendations for how much sleep people actually need each night.

Generally, these recommendations say that adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It’s also suggested you go to bed at the same time every night to establish a rhythm that your body can get used to.

What’s The Best Night Routine?

Establishing a perfect bedtime routine can be difficult when your schedule is busy and varies from day to day. Even so, you can still create a general pattern that works for you by following some of these guidelines:

  1. Go to Bed and Wake Up Around the Same Time Each Day – This includes weekends too!
  2. Take Time to Relax – This might include taking a bath, reading, or listening to soft music.
  3. Avoid Using Electronics Before Bed – Don’t watch the news, scroll through your phone, or check email.
  4. Try Not to Nap Too Late in the Day – And if your naps are typically less than 30 minutes during the day, try not to nap at all.
  5. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment – This might include light shades or earplugs.
  6. Only Use Your Bed for Sleep – Avoid working, studying, or eating in bed.
  7. Don’t Drink Caffeine Too Late in the Day – Coffee, energy drinks and soda can all contain caffeine. Try to stop drinking caffeinated beverages around two hours before bedtime.
  8. Skip the Alcohol – Alcohol may seem like it helps you sleep, but it actually disrupts your sleep cycle. It’s best to avoid drinking before bed!
  9. Get Plenty of Exercise – You probably knew this one was coming! When you exercise during the day, your body craves good sleep to repair and recover.

How To Start a Night Routine?

When you’re tired, it can be challenging to create a routine that works for you. However, it’s crucial to find a pattern that helps you establish good sleep habits.

You may have trouble falling asleep at first if your body isn’t used to going to bed at the same time each night. It can take one to two weeks for your body to adjust, but you’ll feel better by the end!

While you’re figuring out this process, it might also help to work on eliminating any nighttime noises or distractions that keep you up. If the light is an issue, try using a soft sleep mask or black-out curtains.

Once your routine becomes a habit, you’ll start to notice the positive effects on your mood and productivity during the day. Try sticking with a bedtime routine for a few weeks and see how you feel. 

If you still need help sleeping after trying to establish a night routine, talk to your doctor. There may be underlying factors that can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep–like anxiety or insomnia. Once these issues are addressed and resolved, it will be easier for you to build a routine with rest at the center!

Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep. (2020, April 17). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

CDC – Sleep Hygiene Tips – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2016, July 15). CDC.Gov. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

A Good Night’s Sleep. (2020, November 3). National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep#good

 

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