Revenge bedtime procrastination sounds like the name of a bad horror movie, but it’s not. This habit is one that has grown popular over social media, one that you’ve likely experienced firsthand.
Revenge bedtime procrastination refers to those nights following busy days, when you finally have a moment to yourself and binge on all the free time you can. You usually go to bed late and wake up feeling cranky.
While free and leisure time is necessary, especially when you have a busy daily life, sacrificing sleep tends to be bad news for your health and your mood. Still, it’s difficult to let go of that moment of freedom, even if we’re well aware of the consequences a few hours later.
According to a 2020 study on the subject, in order to have revenge bedtime procrastination, your night routine must have three important components: late nights must reduce total sleep time, they can’t be disrupted by an external factor (like tending to a baby or feeling sick), and you must be aware of the negative consequences. That sounds pretty familiar.
“Folks are more likely to engage in revenge bedtime procrastination if they perceive themselves to have little regulation over their leisure time,” Dr. of Psychology Sabrina Romanoff told Self. “This is especially applicable during the pandemic because the border between work and home life is distorted, so work responsibilities tend to bleed into home life, and schedules become less binding.”
Research on this phenomenon is still in its nascent stages, but it seems to affect women and students most prominently. It’s also more common for people who procrastinate in other areas of their lives. It’s a phenomenon that is also on the rise due to the pandemic and more stress and less separation between work and play. Here’s what you can do to combat it:
Keep a constant sleep schedule, even on non-work days
While this is difficult with everyone trying to have a social life and such, by keeping a relatively constant sleep schedule, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep each night. It’s okay to break the rules every now and again, but try your best to be a little bit constant. If you’re drinking one night, try to avoid doing so the next, that way your body can get used to the routines you’re trying to create.
A helpful tip is to set a bedtime alarm, reminding you that is time to wind down. Little steps you can take to make this process easier would be to avoid screens (at least the one on your phone).
Add relaxing routines to your night
Bedtime habits are important, making it easier for you to go bed at the same time every night. Relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating, or cutting off your screen time one or two hours before sleep can be difficult to incorporate, but can be assimilated over time. Start off slow, purposefully turning off your phone at a decent time and adding routines as you go.