Most people are aware of the benefits of a good night of sleep, but some of us may find ourselves sacrificing sleep from time-to-time. Maybe we want to stay up late watching a favorite show, or perhaps we are up into the wee hours of the morning preparing a presentation for work or cramming for an exam. Whatever the case, putting off bedtime can lead to sleep deprivation over time, which certainly isn’t ideal for health or wellbeing.
In some instances, people may simply need time to relax and unwind after a long day, so they stay awake long after they have grown tired, in order to enjoy some leisurely time free from work or family obligations. If you’re staying up well past your bedtime in order to get some much needed free time, there is actually a name for what you’re doing: revenge bedtime procrastination. Here, learn what this term means, as well as five easy ways to cope.
- What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
- Why Do People Engage In Bedtime Procrastination?
- 5 Solutions for Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
As the Sleep Foundation explains, revenge bedtime procrastination occurs when busy folks, who do not have enough free time during their days, delay bedtime in order to enjoy leisure time. While we have all delayed bedtime on occasion, perhaps because we have an important event in the evening and simply can’t get to bed at our usual time, the situation devolves into revenge bedtime procrastination when it occurs even when there isn’t a valid reason to stay up late, and a person is aware they will be sleep deprived by staying up too late.
For instance, perhaps a working parent has no time to themselves during the day, so after the kids go to bed, they stay up for three or four hours watching reality television or scrolling through social media and Internet shopping sites, well aware that they will be exhausted when the alarm goes off the next morning.
Why Do People Engage In Bedtime Procrastination?
Revenge bedtime procrastination is said to occur when people are feeling dissatisfied with a lack of free time during the day, and a recent study explored the specific reasons behind this type of bedtime procrastination. The research, published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine in 2019, found that people had the following reasons for procrastinating bedtime:
- They felt they deserved some time to themselves.
- They lost track of time during the evening.
- They purposely delayed bedtime to make it easier to fall asleep.
- They felt a need to catch up on chores.
- They felt they were rebelling against the numerous obligations in their lives.
In some cases, people who engage in revenge bedtime procrastination may actually be dealing with insomnia, especially if they tend to have trouble falling asleep and are delaying bedtime in hopes that sleep will come more easily. What was also noteworthy in the above study is that people indicated that they knew they would be tired, cranky, and lacking in energy as a result of choosing bedtime procrastination.
5 Solutions for Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
If revenge bedtime procrastination has left you exhausted, but you just don’t know how to find time for enjoyment in the midst of a busy life, consider the solutions below:
- Find time for yourself throughout the day. As the results of the study in Behavioral Sleep Medicine suggest, the underlying psychological reason behind revenge bedtime procrastination is that people don’t have enough time for themselves, and they feel they spend their entire days fulfilling obligations, such as those placed upon them by a boss at work. This leads them to stay up too late, desperately trying to find some time for enjoyment. To resolve this problem take some time, in the midst of a busy schedule, to do something you enjoy during the day. Chances are that if you find time for yourself, you’ll be able to go to bed on time, and you’ll be more rested during the day. Ultimately, this increases your productivity, even if you do take time away just for you.
- Stop feeling guilty about self-care. Sometimes, revenge bedtime procrastination occurs because we are so busy taking care of others throughout the day, that we never take time for ourselves. As the saying goes, you cannot care for others if you aren’t caring for yourself. Carve out some time in your day for self-care. This means you cannot be afraid to turn down an extra project or take advantage of an opportunity to send the kids to grandma’s if it means you are able to practice a self-care activity, such as getting a massage or going to a fitness class at your favorite gym.
- Take small breaks throughout the day. Maybe you’re craving time for yourself at night because your day is just too packed with endless obligations, without any breaks. While it may seem counterintuitive, taking a 15-minute break here and there, whether it’s to run out and grab a coffee or to take a quick walk with a friend, will probably help you to stay focused and allow you to buckle down on your work when you return from the break. At the end of the day, you won’t feel as if you have gone through an entire day without having any enjoyment.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Remember that some people in the study noted above indicated that they lost track of time when doing evening activities. It can therefore be helpful to set a consistent sleep schedule, and stick to it. It may even be beneficial to set an alarm on your phone, and make a commitment to stop what you’re doing and get ready for bed when it rings.
- Rule out underlying issues like insomnia. If you find yourself putting off bedtime because you know you’ll just toss and turn when you get into bed, perhaps something else is going on that is preventing you from getting sleep. In this event, you might consider seeing your doctor to determine underlying causes of insomnia and find a solution that allows you to get to bed at a reasonable time and get the sleep your body requires.
Sometimes, a weighted blanket for insomnia is a simple solution that makes it easier to settle down at night. A weighted blanket for adults provides deep touch pressure to the body, helping a person to relax after a busy day. At Aricove, we offer a cooling weighted blanket made with premium bamboo fabric, starting with a weighted blanket of 10 lbs for those who are smaller in size or require a lighter blanket because of joint issues, and ranging all the way to 20 lbs for those who are 188 lbs body weight or above. Our comforting weighted blanket may be the solution you need for revenge bedtime procrastination.