How to Beat Bedtime Procrastination
Updated on 19 Jun 2023 • 4 min read
If you often find yourself up way later than you need to be and for no particular reason, you might be engaging in revenge bedtime procrastination.
And if that’s the case, know that you’re not alone.
In fact, a recent study shows that over 53% of young adults engage in bedtime procrastination!
This widespread phenomenon is becoming increasingly common due to fast-paced and demanding lifestyles and the evergowing use of electronic devices.
The good news is that there are easy ways to prevent bedtime revenge procrastination. So, to help you get restful sleep every night, we’ve shared three effective tips on preventing bedtime procrastination below.
But first, we’ve detailed what bedtime procrastination is, who it affects, and the consequences it can have on your health.
What is the Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
Revenge bedtime procrastination (or revenge sleep procrastination) refers to the conscious decision to delay sleep to enjoy some free time instead.
The term revenge sleep procrastination comes from the 72-hour workweek. Research shows that after being pulled in every direction during the day and being unable to control our schedule, bedtime procrastination is our way to take back control of our lives. Our minds try to make up for the lack of free time during the day by engaging in activities such as scrolling our social media feeds, watching TV, or shopping online at night.
Now, the issue with screen time before bed is that it prevents our body from secreting melatonin, a hormone our body releases to help us fall asleep.
Signs and symptoms of sleep procrastination might include things such as:
- Engaging in activities to avoid going to bed, such as cleaning or sorting documents.
- Watching TV when you know you should be going to bed.
- Being on your phone while you should be sleeping.
Who Revenge Sleep Procrastination Affects
The study conducted by Polish psychologists show that students and women are at higher risk of engaging in bedtime procrastination. This often results in compromised sleep hygiene. The study further notes that individuals who have a tendency to eat or work late into the night are also frequently susceptible to procrastinating sleep. However, this behavior is not exclusive to these groups and can be found across diverse demographics, highlighting the widespread nature of sleep procrastination. Anyone with high-stress levels, irregular schedules, or indulgence in stimulating activities close to bedtime might find themselves caught in this pattern.
Modern lifestyle factors, such as late-night screen time or over-reliance on caffeine, can further exacerbate the issue. Understanding these risk factors is the first step in addressing and ultimately overcoming revenge sleep procrastination, paving the way toward healthier sleep habits and improving overall well-being.
Health and Wellbeing Consequences of Bedtime Procrastination
Scrolling on your phone at night might initially appear harmless, especially considering that most wouldn't undertake any significant activities at that time. However, the problem is that a lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on your health, quality of life, and overall well-being.
And here’s how:
The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is seven hours or more. Sleeping less than seven hours a night for a few days in a row will lead to daytime sleepiness.
And this, in turn, will impact your quality of life as you won’t have the energy levels required to function normally and perform important tasks.
Other typical symptoms associated with lack of sleep in the short-term include:
- Mood-related problems
- Slow reaction time, which can be a massive issue if you’re driving or engaging in activities requiring quick reaction time
- Lack of concentration and decreased productivity
- Impairment of memory consolidation and other cognitive functions
Sleep affects every tissue, muscle, and organ in our body.
Chronic sleep deprivation will negatively impact your bodily function and can create serious issues, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Mental health disorders
- Impairment of cognitive functions reducing your ability to perform a task
3 Tips on How to Stop Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
Now that we’ve established that bedtime procrastination can have detrimental consequences for your health and well-being, let’s look at three ways you can stop sleep procrastination.
Set Up “Bedtime” Mode on Your Smartphone
There’s nothing worse than seeing your phone screen light up as you receive notifications late at night. Having your phone on normal mode at night is a surefire way to encourage your mind to stay active leading to sleep procrastination. That’s why you should always set up the “bedtime” mode on your phone before sleep.
When you switch your phone to ‘’bedtime’’ mode, your device will stay dark and quiet while you sleep. Your calls and notifications will be muted so that you can rest without being interrupted.
And the great thing about “bedtime” mode is that you can set it up so that it automatically turns on and off when you want it to.
Adopt a Relaxing Pre-bedtime Routine
Experts recommend winding down between half an hour and two hours before bed. This means only engaging in calm and relaxing activities and preparing your bedroom for sleep.
Here are some tips on implementing a bedtime routine for adults:
- Set an alarm to start your bedtime routine.
- Write a journal to jot down your worries and unburden your mind.
- Set up “bedtime” mode on your electronics and leave them outside the bedroom if possible.
- If you’re hungry two hours before bed, have a light snack like an apple or grapes. Avoid big and rich meals.
- Take a warm bath or shower.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Read a good book.
- Prepare your bedroom by lowering the temperature, closing the curtains or blinds, and using dim lighting. This will allow you to turn your room into a sleep oasis.
Research shows that exercising regularly is highly effective in reducing insomnia. In fact, aerobic exercises such as swimming, running, or cycling have the same effect as sleeping pills! While scientists haven’t pinpointed the exact mechanism behind it, studies show that regular exercise increases our deep sleep and improves our mood.
However, note that the increased brain activity created by exercise can keep you awake, so it’s important to stop exercising two hours before bed.
Overcoming sleep procrastination can really boost your life's quality. Think of it as an all-around win. It starts with improving your sleep, and the benefits don't stop there. They ripple out, touching every part of your life. It clears your mind, balances your emotions, and lays the groundwork for a healthier daily routine.
Over to You
Some other helpful tips to prevent bedtime procrastination include avoiding caffeine and alcohol late in the afternoon and meditating before bed to help your body and mind wind down and relax.
And if you’ve experienced bedtime procrastination before and have found something that works for you, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.