Revenge bedtime procrastination

The term "bedtime procrastination" was coined in 2014 by Dr Floor Kroese and is defined as going to bed later than planned while not having any external circumstances for doing it.

Revenge bedtime procrastination is the 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. Instead of going to bed, you decide to scroll on social media at the expense of your sleep.

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The psychology of revenge bedtime procrastination

nesslabs.com

Research differentiates between bedtime procrastination (procrastination before going to bed) and while-in-bed procrastination. In both cases, there are three common behaviours to pay attention to:

  • Delay: Going to bed later than you intended.
  • No valid reason: There are good reasons for staying up later than planned, such as attending to a sick loved one, but sometimes we don't have a valid reason.
  • Awareness: Knowing that your actions will have negative consequences.

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Sleep loss is more common due to increased working hours and an emphasis on active leisure. As a result, people tend to compromise their nightly sleep, becoming chronically sleep-deprived.

Studies show that people can't learn to manage with less sleep. Too little sleep will have adverse effects. Your body won't properly recharge, leading to irritability, impaired decision-making, thinking, and memory, reduced impulse control, and health issues such as metabolic disorder and cardiovascular problems.

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Staying up a bit later to carve out some leisure time may feel good in the short term but may be damaging in the long run.

  • Stick to a bedtime routine. Consider setting an alarm to go to bed.
  • Consider your metabolism. Avoid coffee or alcohol late in the day. Try to eat dinner earlier or eat a light meal, so you don't overwhelm your digestive system.
  • Relax your body and mind before going to bed. Meditation and journaling are suitable activities to help switch off before sleep.

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