People who experience this phenomenon often feel that they didn't have much control over their daytime life, so they're picking times they can really cater to themselves, usually at night.
Many will scroll on their phones until deep into the night, perhaps because they unconsciously try to avoid their uncomfortable or heavy thoughts or feelings. But the constant avoidance enters them into a cycle of late-night anxiety.
MORE IDEAS FROM ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’ Is Real, According to Psychologists
It is where you stubbornly stay up late at night because you feel like you didn't get any time to yourself.
You barely had time for dinner and a shower after work. Maybe you watched a few episodes of a show or read a book. Now you're in bed, but you are not ready for sleep. You keep on scrolling because you feel unsatisfied in some way.
During the work-from-home period, demands on our time have gotten higher. Parents have to manage Zoom school, scramble to pay the bills with a second job, or they simply allow their regular working hours at home to extend passed office hours.
On top of that, we're lonely. It is then no surprise that we are trying to take back control. Scrolling late into the night allows us to imagine alternatives of things we could be doing.
Feeling that you have a bit of free time is very important for well-being. Often when we do get free time, we use watching TV or scroll through social media.
We would feel more satisfied if we spent some time on leisure activities that give us a sense of flow.
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.
Though it sounds confusing, sleep procrastination is when we deliberately delay our sleep. It could be to catch another episode of the show we are watching, or scroll through social media, lying on the bed.
We could sleep if we want to, but choose not to and spend precious sleep time on something else instead.
It may seem like an innocent hour of doing nothing in particular, but it can add up and even cause chronic sleep deprivation in some cases.
Insomnia affects between a third and a half of U.S. adults at some point in their lives. Worldwide, 10 to 30 percent of the population experience insomnia, but other studies find it is as high as 60 percent.
We can increase the quality of life if we can change how we think about sleep. Instead of worrying about how we can fall asleep, we need to start considering sleep for its transcendent significance.
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