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Wellness Do You Suffer From Revenge Bedtime Procrastination? Here's The Reason Behind It

Do You Suffer From Revenge Bedtime Procrastination? Here's The Reason Behind It

Photo:  Lewis Parsons on Unsplash
Photo: Lewis Parsons on Unsplash
By Jove Moya
By Jove Moya
July 15, 2021
Night owls should take a closer look at themselves: there's a reason why you're up while everyone else is asleep.

If you often find yourself constantly awake in the wee hours of the night, you may be suffering from a psychological phenomenon called Revenge Bedtime Procrastination. The term is defined as an event "when people stay up later than they desire in an attempt to have control over the night because they perceive themselves to lack influence over events during the day." 

In a wider aspect, procrastination means the action of postponing or delaying a chore by doing activities that offer immediate enjoyment. These include spending time with friends, playing video games, or watching TV.

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination, on the other hand, reveals itself when a person is preparing to go to sleep. Some may manifest it through late-night scrolling on social media, texting, or watching a series of short video clips—you get the picture, all of these activities are being done at night when everyone is already in dreamland. 

Related: Mental Health Check: How To Move Past "Languishing" And Thrive Once Again

Photo: Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash
Photo: Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Why Do People Suffer From This Phenomenon? 

Studies have shown that people are most likely to engage in sleep procrastination if they have experienced significant daytime stress. This type of procrastination may be a response to extended work hours that, if combined with a full night's sleep, leave no time for relaxation. 

For instance, students who work on loads of projects or employees who work on a regular 9 to five job may find themselves so stressed in the day that the only time they could relax and really control their time is during bedtime. 

Read more: How Does Heat Affect Our Mental Health? Loss of Sleep, Anxiety, And More

Negative Effects 

Board-certified behavioural sleep medicine specialist in White Plains, N.Y. Shelby Harris, Revenge Bedtime Procrastination is an age-old problem that was hardly addressed in the past. She said that the habit can take a toll on a person's overall productivity for the next day. “The more you procrastinate at night, the more you’re going to have trouble being effective and efficient at the things you need to do the next day,” Harris said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Then you’re working later at night and feel like you need more time to decompress. It just continues the cycle.”

In 2015, a study found that health problems such as high blood sugar are linked to people who stay up late. A spike in blood sugar is often associated with other health conditions and temporary problems such as fatigue, headaches, cardiovascular diseases, and even kidney damage.

How To Avoid 

Here are ways to prevent yourself from being a full-fledged night owl: 

  • Self-Care Is Important- In the end, Revenge Bedtime Procrastination stems from a person's stress. Prioritising one's self is important and has a great impact on his or her well-being.
  • Make Reasonably-sized Agendas- A person's everyday goal must be both attainable and realistic. This way, it will be easier to manage and schedule pending tasks.  
  • Put Rest On Your Schedule- The lack of rest would only result to more bedtime procrastination; it would not hurt to put a 10 to 15-minute break in between chores.
  • Learn New Relaxation Strategies- Believe it or not, there are many entertaining tasks that will not make you feel that you've squandered time; these include doodling, texting a friend, reading a poem, and whatnot. 

More from Tatler: Mental Health: Does Waking Up Earlier Help Fight Depression?


(1) Healthline: Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: The Reason You Were Up Until 2 a.m. Last Night
(2) The Washington Post:  Sacrificing sleep to make time for yourself? Tips to stop ‘revenge bedtime procrastination
(3) The Sleep Foundation: What Is “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”?


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