Do you ever get so busy during the day that you run out of daylight hours to do the things you actually want? Have you ever attempted to remedy this by denying yourself sleep to make time for those activities? The idea of revenge bedtime procrastination has gained some social media attention during recent months, likely due to the increased stress and altered schedules associated with the COVID pandemic. Around 40 percent of adults reported having increased trouble sleeping during the pandemic. But the concept appeared prior to the pandemic.
This delay in sleep can look a little different for each person and can also be dependent upon what your daytime life looks like. Ramiz FargoMD, medical director for the Loma Linda University Sleep Disorder Center, adds that the activities involved in revenge bedtime procrastination are typically easy things you enjoy doing.
This disconnect is known as the intention-behavior gap. There is a suggested link between revenge bedtime procrastination, general procrastination, and poor self-regulation.
But researchers emphasize that the exact link is unclear. People who tend to procrastinate may be more likely to engage in revenge bedtime procrastination. If you find yourself pushing off getting a decent amount of sleep on a regular basis, consider what else you may be avoiding in your life. Are you putting off paying a bill or sending an ? What about returning that phone call you have been ignoring for a week?
All of these things could be connected. Everyone needs sleep, and not getting enough shut-eye can lead to problems down the road.
Missing a night here and there will probably only result in some grogginess the next day. But regularly not getting enough sleep can eventually start to affect everything from your immune system to your libido. Sleep deprivation is also linked to an increased risk of several chronic health conditions, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Lack of sleep can also interfere with your mental health, increasing chances of depression and impacting your overall decision-making capability.
A lot of advice around revenge bedtime procrastination focuses on basic sleep hygiene, like not exercising too close to bedtime, avoiding screens at night, and going to sleep at a consistent time each night. While developing good sleep hygiene is important for overall health, the root cause of revenge bedtime procrastination is the lack of free time during the day.
Consider these strategies for handling responsibilities without forgetting yourself in the process.
Part of ensuring this is a habit that you can stick to involves making your new goal both attainable and realistic. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed more often than not or find it challenging to strike the right balance between work and play, talking to a mental health professional can be a big help. Not sure where to start?
Our guide to affordable therapy can help. But regularly putting off sleep not only leaves you groggy during the day but also impacts your overall health. Depriving your body of what it needs to survive will eventually take a toll. We all have things that we miss out on when we have packed schedules, but finding time to take care of ourselves should not be on that list. Even if it takes sending a Google calendar invite to your best friend to ensure they call you at 1pm to spark taking a short break, figure out what works for you. Taneasha White is a Black, queer lover of words, inquisition, and community, and has used her role within both literary and organizational spaces to make room for folks who are often cast aside.
You can find more of her work here.
Night of revenge
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