It’s quarter past your bedtime. And you think, hmm, I should probably get some shuteye. But then you think about that Netflix show you’ve been meaning to watch and the shopping cart you still need to check out from your favourite online store. And you think, hey, I’ve got time for those things right now. Hours go by and you’re still awake – wired from all the activity. But you feel content that you’re spending time on yourself because, during the day, you’re just too busy to. Does this scenario sound familiar? It’s a not-so-little thing called revenge bedtime procrastination. A phenomenon where people seek ‘me time’ at the expense of a good night’s sleep. We’ll look at this tendency in more detail and explain why it is a big no-no for a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. (The opposite of revenge bedtime procrastination? Sleeping sweetly on the plush Meelu Mattress. Learn more.)
The revenge bedtime procrastination phenomenon
So it turns out putting off sleep for leisure activities is a thing. Most of us can probably admit to late-night Netflix sessions, social media scrolling and online gaming. And can you blame us? We spend most of the day working and doing chores. Sometimes all the time that’s left for us in the day is those last few hours before we hit the hay. Hence, ‘revenge’ bedtime procrastination. We are getting the entertainment fix that we’ve been craving all day – even though we know it will compromise our sleep. It’s like when a lactose intolerant person knows ice cream is bad for them but eats a bowl full anyway. With choices come consequences.
The trouble with putting off going to bed is that you end up not getting sufficient hours of REM sleep, which not only affects your health and general wellbeing but reduces your alertness and productivity the next day. Despite the negative consequences of revenge bedtime procrastination, many of us willingly stay up late, night after night. We know it’s bad for us – so why do we do it?
The psychology behind the phenomenon is quite interesting. Apart from wanting more ‘me time’, there are many schools of thought on why people ‘revenge procrastinate’ before bed. One theory points to stress as the culprit. When we have demanding schedules and ongoing pressure to perform, we often seek escapism and recovery time at the end of the day so we can relax and unwind. And we may extend this relaxation period for as long as we can so that we feel rested, mentally, and ready for the next day of work. Another theory is that your typical ‘night owl’ or wolf chronotype will naturally spend more time awake at night, so perform these procrastination activities then as opposed to during the day. (What’s your chronotype? Find out now.)
5 tips for beating revenge bedtime procrastination
Are you rebelling against sleep? Here’s how to put sleep procrastination to bed once and for all.
1. Simplify your life
A simpler life means less stress and more free time. Assess your schedule to see what ‘fat’ you can trim. And be ruthless. Cancel inessential appointments and commitments. Delegate work. Decline unnecessary meetings. And set yourself specific work hours that your colleagues and clients know about. If you’re available all the time and take on too much responsibility, you are more likely to feel burnt out at the end of the day (and end up craving that glorious Netflix binge).
2. Prioritise your sleep
Personal time is important – we get it. But so is a good night’s sleep. Start being stricter with yourself and prioritise sleep above entertainment. If getting sufficient sleep every night is your goal, set daily reminders to go to sleep at your chosen bedtime. A peaceful sounding phone alarm, automatic dimming light, or smartwatch notification should do the trick so you can hold yourself accountable for your sleep routine.
3. Turn off your digital devices at night
Screens and sleep do not gel. Partly because of the stimulating content, but also because of the blue light as it hinders the body’s natural production of melatonin. Before going to bed, switch off your TV, laptop, and cell phone if they are too much of a temptation for you. And do so a few hours before bedtime so you actually feel sleepy when you hop into bed. (For more information, read our article on healthy sleep habits.)
4. Start your nighttime leisure activities earlier
If you need a few hours of downtime before bed, make sure you plan ahead for these hours so they don’t begin too late. For example, if you like two hours of leisurely activity before going to sleep, and you want to go to sleep at 10:00 PM, make sure you start this activity at 8:00 PM.
5. Schedule your ‘me time’
You can make sure you get ‘me time’ every day by adding it to your schedule. Mark it off in your diary as a set appointment, and treat it like any other daily commitment. You deserve it (and so does your sleep cycle).
Goodbye revenge bedtime procrastination, hello Meelu Mattress
When you’ve got a comfy premium foam mattress to sleep on, choosing sleep over entertainment becomes easier. Quit the revenge bedtime procrastination and start a love affair with the best mattress you’ll ever own. Order the Meelu Mattress online.