What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination? (& 4 Ways to Quit)
You want to start going to bed earlier, waking up with the sun in the morning, and taking back control of your days.
But once you get into bed, you start scrolling on social media, searching for articles online, or reading until the small hours of the night.
It can be easy to get sucked into staying up all night when the nighttime is the only time you have peace and quiet.
But what really causes revenge bedtime procrastination – and could it harm you more than help you?
Here at KMA Therapy, we know you want to set yourself up for success. For over 14 years, we’ve helped our clients get to the root cause of their behaviours and figure out how to live more fulfilling lives.
After reading this article, you’ll know what Revenge Bedtime Procrastination is, why it can be harmful, and four ways to stop it.
What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
Revenge Bedtime Procrastination, or Revenge Sleep Procrastination, is when you decide not to sleep in order to get more free time – think watching your favourite Netflix show until 3 am when you have to work the next day.
You may know you need more sleep, but can’t get yourself to give up the free time you only get at the end of the day.
3 Signs of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
We all have nights when we stay up a bit later than we mean to. But Revenge Bedtime Procrastination follows a pattern of late nights – and there are three specific signs to watch out for.
The Three Signs of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination:
- You delay going to bed, resulting in less total sleep time
- You know this could have negative consequences, but you do it anyway
- There are no other reasons, like an illness or a special event, causing you to stay up late
You may also procrastinate in other areas of your life, like putting off your household chores or leaving work assignments until the last minute.
Why Would You Procrastinate Sleep?
Sleep is often seen as something enjoyable and something that makes your quality of life better.
So why would you put it off?
If you find yourself staying up too late on nights you know you need the extra rest, you’re not alone.
Many people stay up late because the end of the day is the only time they have to themselves.
Whether you’re dealing with a demanding job, navigating family life, or managing an overflowing schedule, late nights alone can feel like a place of refuge.
And sure, taking a late night to yourself every once in a while can bring you a sense of control and peace.
But consistently trading sleep for free time can have negative consequences – and might make you think twice about clicking that tempting “Play Next Episode” button.
What Happens When You Don’t Sleep?
A lack of sleep can have widespread negative effects on your physical and mental health.
Not getting enough sleep can cause:
- Worsened judgement and decision-making
- Heightened feelings of depression and anxiety
- Irritability and difficulties regulating your emotions
- Ongoing physical health problems, such as metabolic disorders
Creating time for you to relax is important – but there are risks involved when it comes at the expense of your sleep.
Read our three tips below to learn how to break out of the sleep procrastination cycle and start getting the rest you deserve.
4 Ways to Stop Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
1. Create a Bedtime Routine
Creating a consistent bedtime routine can help you feel a sense of control and ease you into bed rather than forcing you to fall asleep before you’re ready.
If you love your alone time before falling asleep, you don’t need to sacrifice it. Create a routine that allows you to get into bed at an earlier time and maintain your relaxation without sacrificing your sleep.
2. Set Strong Boundaries Between Work and Home
It can be hard to find a work-life balance. It can become an even challenge if you work from home.
Setting strong boundaries, like having a set cut-off time for work and saying “No” to tasks you don’t have the capacity for, can help you create more free time during your day.
If you’re able to make time for the things you enjoy during daylight hours, you’ll likely feel less tempted to squeeze them in when you should be sleeping.
3. Take a Break from Electronics Right Before Bed
One of the most effective (and honestly, annoying) sleep tips is to stay off your electronics before bedtime.
As tempting as it can be to scroll through TikTok under your covers or binge-watch your favourite show in the dark, exposing your brain to electronics before bed can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule.
It’s okay if you can’t cut the habit off right away – try putting your electronics away fifteen minutes before you fall asleep and work your way up to a larger time gap.
(Experts often recommend being tech-free for one to two hours before bed, but even half an hour of screen-free time has its benefits.)
4. Get Professional Support
Whether you’re interested in seeing a sleep specialist or a mental health therapist, it’s okay if you need extra support.
Sleep issues can be challenging, and you don’t have to tackle them alone.
Seeing a professional can help you learn new coping strategies, help set you up for successful sleep, and give you a supportive person who is available to listen to you.
Next Steps for Supporting Your Wellness
After reading this article, you now know the signs of revenge bedtime procrastination, why it’s harmful to skip out on sleep, and four ways to stop sleep procrastination in its tracks.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know you sometimes need support to reach your wellness goals. For over 14 years, we’ve been helping our therapy clients reach their potential and live more fulfilling lives.
If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these resources to learn more:
- To explore if therapy could be a good choice for you, read: Will Psychotherapy Help Me?
- If you’re experiencing pressure at work, read: Why Burnout is More Than Just Stress – and How to Fix It
- To learn more ways to boost your wellness, read: What is Mindfulness – and Can it Improve Your Wellbeing?