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What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

Revenge bedtime procrastination is a person’s conscious decision to sacrifice sleep for a period of leisure or recreation. This phenomenon is usually evident with people who have a tightly packed schedule or have no free time during the day.

If you work long hours in the day and you find your self running out of daylight to actually enjoy hobbies and activities you actually want to do, that you end up compromising your much-needed night sleep – you may be experiencing revenge bedtime procrastination.

How does this happen?

Due to the pandemic and people working from home, there have been reports of increased stress levels across the working class. In a study documented in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, sleep problems during COVID-19 have increased by 40 percent. (Source: Journal of Clinical)

The thing is, the concept of the revenge bedtime procrastination has been around for years. It is a reflex response of individuals who work long, stressful hours and sacrifice a lot of personal time to work.

Revenge bedtime procrastination is more common with students and women who, in particular, have lesser time for themselves since the start of this pandemic. (Source: Sleep Foundation)

Origins of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Each person would have a varied way of coping with stress. Delaying sleep can equally look different for each person depending on what they do during the day.

A busy stay-at-home mom may sacrifice some sleep by binge watching shows on Netflix after putting the kids down for bed, absorbing the peace and quite until the next day begins.

Your day can be completely structured that you just want to spend the rest of the night relaxing on your couch playing a video game than actually getting some sleep.

Dr. Ramiz Fargo of the Loma Linda University Sleep Disorder Center says that the activities commonly associated with revenge bedtime procrastination are simple and easy to do – like scrolling through your social media account, watching television, or chatting up friends. Whichever activity you choose to do – sleep is delayed. (Source: Healthline)

How Does Revenge Bedtime Procrastination Affect You?

There are several studies that explain how important night sleep is. During this time your body is working extra hard to maintain your internal organs and brain. By sleeping, you body gets a chance to refresh. Think of it as recharging, and night sleep is definitely different from napping throughout the day. (Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)

Without the enough sleep, you are putting yourself at several health risks. The damage you incur during sleep deficiency is not instant. You will slowly feel the effects over time, like developing heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and even getting a stroke.

How Do You Cope?

There have been tons of tips and tricks to fix the issue on revenge bedtime procrastination. Most focus on basic sleep hygiene – not exercising near bedtime, avoiding screens before going to bed, and a consistent sleeping schedule. (Source: Healthline)

Here are some other things you may want to consider as well:

Create goals that are attainable and realistic

If you are having a hard time to schedule me time during the day. Try to incorporate small breaks in your day. Start with 10 to 15 minutes and decompress. According to Dr. Fargo, this will equally help with productivity too.

Prioritize things that matter more

It is vital that you choose the activity that makes the most sense to you. Whether your are going out for a short run, or are planning to meditate in your free time – make the right choice.

Schedule time for rest

Most people would have their entire day logged on their calendars but we all know not everyone actually schedules the time they hit the hay. Make it a habit to remind yourself to rest.

At the end of the day, sleep is vital to our overall health. Your body will not adjust to the lack of rest. If anything, sleep shouldn’t be what is sacrificed.

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