Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Revenge bedtime procrastination: Here’s how you can beat it

In an attempt to gain control of our time that is busily distributed throughout the day, we retaliate by staying awake to do things we like.

How many times have you tucked in the kids cosily before retiring to the bed yourself, only to not sleep for hours? In wanting to steal some time for yourself after a busy day, you spend hours scrolling your phone, looking at photos, watching videos or shows, etc. This isn’t insomnia or a sleep disorder, this is deliberately staying awake knowing you are losing out on some healthy sleep hours. Experts have termed this phenomena ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’. In an attempt to gain control of our time that is busily distributed throughout the day, we retaliate by staying awake to do things we like. Of course, by not sleeping on time, we harm ourselves and we know it. But it is an affliction that is seen increasingly in people across the world because everyone is steadily becoming pressed for ‘me time’.

Revenge bedtime procrastination became routine for people during the pandemic – a loss of security and an increase in anxiety combined with stay at home schedules made people lean on something they could control. It sounds simple enough; what begins as a 20 minute sitcom episode right before sleeping becomes a full on binge where one ends up watching an entire season. What starts as a cute baby video posted by a friend becomes a rabbit hole of baby and cat videos. But with most people returning to work post pandemic, this habit is not doable anymore. In fact, it has become a serious deterrent to good sleep and a productive next day for most. It has become more important than ever to return to the good old phrase of ‘early to bed and early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise.’ Soulveda enlists a few ways to beat this lifestyle disorder before it becomes a habit.

Steadily cut down on the time at night

Maybe night is the only time you get to procrastinate a little. In fact, it is more common than we’d like to believe. However, the smart thing to do here is to cut down on the time spent on revenge bedtime procrastination – for instance, if we steal close to two hours watching or doing something we like, the strategy should be to bring it down to an hour and half. With half an hour of more sleep than usual, the next day will start looking more productive. In the next few weeks, learn to bring it down to an hour of bedtime procrastination.

We may not understand the value of our efforts right away, but sleeping better will show results soon enough. Steadily, we will be able to claim our health and wellbeing back from this lifestyle hara-kiri that most of us dived into during the pandemic.

Welcome sleep back

People who do not get regular sleep like insomniacs will tell you how much they miss it. And it’s not yearning without reason – deep restorative sleep helps in keeping fit and makes one smarter. By losing out on sleep every night due to revenge bedtime procrastination, people build a kind of sleep deficit that cannot be recovered easily. The brain doesn’t function to its peak potential in a sleep deprived body and this means poor performance at work, bad moods and a general disconnect from being healthy.

It is important to welcome sleep as a friend, something one looks forward to. The idea of sleeping should not bore you. Condition your mind to be positive about sleep and how it helps keep you healthy and going every morning. A cool way to embrace sleep is by understanding the signals your body gives – feeling drowsy or droopy during the night is a straightforward sign that your body wants to sleep.

Say goodbye to devices before sleeping

Increasingly, people hit the bed at night and take the phone in their hands, holding onto it for the longest period in the entire day. Imagine all the work our mind has to do to process all the content we feed it when it just wants to rest! The phenomenon might be called revenge bedtime procrastination, but there is a real chance that our body will want revenge as well for the sleep and rest that we snatch from it.

Our mobile phones might be good company throughout the daytime, but it is important to be aware of the ill-effects on health. At night, the blue light of screens causes hyper-arousal and keeps one alert at a time when one should ideally rest. So make a conscious return to a healthy sleep cycle by shunning devices while hitting the bed. Keep gadgets away from the bedroom, switch the Wi-Fi off and turn the auto play off from all the OTT platforms. Simply put, welcome sleep back into the fold by rejecting technology in the night time. Remember, sleeping on time and waking up to a fit body is a gift while staying up late and having groggy, unproductive days in the long run will eventually lead to a number of health issues, both mental and physical.

Seek therapy

Most people have high stress jobs today. For a lot of them, especially women, the day is full of added chores – sending children to school, taking care of the elderly, cooking, going to work, doing the laundry and what not. While the day looks productive, it is still devoid of the time required to just let one’s hair down. Revenge bedtime procrastination rears its ugly head exactly for this reason. While it seems justified to want to intentionally take some time to do something you like, the repercussions are severe in the long run. It has been seen that long term effects of sleep deprivation are health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and a weakened immunity.

So if someone has come to the realization that they suffer from poor sleep hygiene due to procrastination, but don’t know how to curb it, seeking therapy or help is the best thing to do. Experts in the field have tools that one can learn and adapt to, moving to a positive direction health-wise slowly and steadily.

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