Want to know why you are awake at 3:00 am every night when it’s not even a weekend? Did you really need to watch another episode of that Netflix show when you knew you should be sleeping? Do you know what revenge bedtime procrastination is? You might find the answers in this article!
It’s 3:00 am, you are watching a mediocre Netflix show, the episode is about to end and you think to yourself, “just one more episode” (let’s face it, it’s never just ONE more episode) even though you know you will get late for that meeting tomorrow but you have had a tiring day and you want some “me time”. Cut to, it’s 5 am and you have binge-watched the entire season and now, you will show up sleep-deprived to your meeting. If you relate to this feeling and don’t quite understand it, chances are you will find this article insightful. There’s a term for this feeling called “revenge bedtime procrastination.” Read on to know all about it and how to stop.
What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
Revenge bedtime procrastination is described as a psychological phenomenon where people put off/sacrifice their sleep to indulge in leisure activities which they don’t have time to do during the daytime. The term first became common after a journalist named Daphne K. Lee described it as “a phenomenon where people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early to regain some sense of freedom during late night hours.”
Her tweet instantly went viral as people started relating to it and could actually put a name on a feeling that they thought was indescribable all this time. Let’s be honest here, nobody quite gets why you would intentionally sacrifice your sleep for no rhyme or reason despite having work tomorrow.
Why Do People Do It?
It is said that people with high functioning stressful jobs are usually found procrastinating on sleep like this because they don’t get free time during the day. The word “revenge” attached to the term refers to the fact that a person takes revenge on their daytime busy schedule by taking out time at night to relax.
Behaviours/Signs Associated With Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
So, how do you know if you procrastinate on sleep? According to research, there are three behaviors and/or signs that may help determine that.
1. Delaying total sleep time intentionally by staying up.
2. No valid reason such as an illness to stay up.
3. Being fully aware that compromising on sleep would lead to negative consequences such as sleep deprivation, headache, etc.
(Source: Sleep Foundation)
Who Is More Likely To Do It?
Although it cannot be stated with certainty who is more likely to procrastinate on sleep as it varies from person to person and also has a lot of external factors that come into play. However, some studies indicate that students and women are more likely to procrastinate on sleep. For instance, a 2019 study on the Polish population revealed that women are twice as more likely to procrastinate during bedtime as compared to men (Medical News Today).
Moreover, as mentioned above, stress plays a huge factor when it comes to revenge bedtime procrastination. According to a 2010 survey by American Psychological Association, “women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men.”
Some research also suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic was also a contributing factor in sleep procrastination for people because almost everyone was working from home which might have led to more workload and higher stress levels. According to Sleep Foundation, around 40% of people had sleep problems during the pandemic.
How Sleep Procrastination Can Affect A Person
Everyone knows not getting proper sleep even for one night causes extreme distress and leaves you nauseous and cranky the next day. However, not getting enough sleep for days can have detrimental effects on health. Sleep deprivation can lead to migraines, a weak immune system, depression, anxiety, concentration issues, risk of cardiac problems, bad memory, dark circles, and the list goes on.
Yikes! We’re sure nobody wants that. So, how can one stop revenge bedtime procrastinating?
How To Stop?
Below is a list of suggestions you can try if you suffer from bedtime procrastination and want to stop.
1. Avoid using screens (phones, laptops, TVs, etc) before bedtime
2. Manage your time. Take out an hour or two for yourself every day just to do things you enjoy
3. Don’t exercise too close to your bedtime
4. Have your chaaye and coffee only in the mornings! (Tough one, we know)
5, Set a regular sleep time and wakeup time
However, these are just suggestions, you can do your own research and try for yourself!
This article in no way suggests that sleeping late occasionally at a sleepover or on the weekend is a bad thing. It merely serves as a reminder to focus on your health and prioritize sleep. If you still aren’t able to sleep on time, visit your doctor to get professional advice.
Are you a revenge bedtime procrastinator? If so, did you find this article insightful? Let us know.
Disclaimer: This article merely serves as a guide. Please contact a healthcare specialist for further assistance.