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How to Stop Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

How to Stop Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Did you ever reach the point of delaying going to bed because you want to do something for yourself after a long, busy day? If you did, then experts say you might have tried “revenge bedtime procrastination.” What is this phenomenon, and is it a cause of concern? Find out here.

Revenge bedtime procrastination, defined

Sleep procrastination is the decision to sacrifice sleep to gain more time for leisure.

It generally has two forms: “Bedtime procrastination,” which is when someone refuses to go to bed and the other is “while-in-bed procrastination,” where the person delays falling asleep. The latter, according to reports, is associated with increased gadget use when someone is lying in bed.

revenge bedtime procrastination

Regardless of how you delay sleep – whether you stay outdoors or use gadgets while in bed – revenge bedtime procrastination has come to mean the choice to postpone bedtime with no practical reason for it. In this phenomenon, the person also knows that their total sleep time will be reduced and that it may lead to negative consequences.

The “revenge” aspect can be considered a “rebellion” against the demands or stress of the day that significantly limited their time for leisure.

Why it happens

Besides the need to steal some time for yourself, revenge bedtime procrastination is also associated with general procrastination and poor self-regulation.

People who usually procrastinate on other things are also more likely to sleep procrastinate. Likewise, one report revealed that individuals who have low self-regulation scores reported more bedtime procrastination.

Why it is a cause of concern

No matter why it happens, experts agree that revenge bedtime procrastination is a cause of concern.

It often leads to sleep deprivation, which in turn affects memory, thinking, and judgment. Insufficient sleep also potentially increases the risk of heart diseases.

For this reason, it’s crucial to avoid sleep procrastination and aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily.

The Health Risks of Sleep Deprivation

4 Tips to stop sleep procrastination

Below are some of the ways to stop revenge bedtime procrastination and tips to have a better sleep:

Make break times and rest days mandatory

Make a daily schedule and include break times in your plan.

Break times need not be long: a 15-minute coffee break, 10-minute walk, or 5-minute phone call with your loved one is sometimes enough to de-stress. Of course, don’t forget to make the most of your lunchtime.

Reserve leisure days in your calendar. Not only does blocking certain days for yourself essential for your mental health, but they also give you something to look forward to.

Evaluate your goals and prioritize

Consider breaking goals into bite-sized tasks. Afterward, prioritize.

There may be days when you can’t accomplish all your daily goals, but knowing that you have completed the most important ones will bring you great relief.

Reach out

When tasks become physically or mentally impossible to complete, consider reaching out to concerned people. Perhaps you can delegate, or maybe your boss can extend the deadline.

Reaching out to people lets them know that things can get better on your end.

Treat sleep as you would a prescription medicine

Finally, bear in mind that sleep is a crucial part of staying healthy, so treat it as if the doctor has prescribed it for you.

Dedicate your bed for sleep and sex alone; that way, your mind can readily associate it with getting rest.

Being consistent is key. Set sleeping and waking times and stick to them. Experts also recommend preparing for sleep: you can take a warm bath and do journaling just before you nod off.

Avoiding physical activity, heavy meals, and screentime are also important.

The Science of Sleep: Why Sleeping Matters

Key Takeaways

Revenge bedtime procrastination may give you a temporary sense of control. However, in the long run, it will do you more harm than good. So invest in taking a break and make sleep a priority. When things become particularly hard, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of your doctor.

Learn more about Healthy Sleep here.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Bedtime procrastination: introducing a new area of procrastination
Accessed May 18, 2021

An Exploratory Study on Sleep Procrastination: Bedtime vs. While-in-Bed Procrastination
Accessed May 18, 2021

Bedtime procrastination: introducing a new area of procrastination
Accessed May 18, 2021

What is “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”?
Accessed May 18, 2021

Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep (And How Much You Really Need a Night)
Accessed May 18, 2021

Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency
Accessed May 18, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated May 24, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel