Many people engage in revenge bedtime procrastination when they’re dreading the day ahead. However, for some, it becomes a toxic habit that produces insomnia.
At night, you can abandon your daily responsibilities. You don’t have to sit in traffic, answer the phone, deal with customers or throw yourself into awkward social situations. Instead, you can watch TV, read a book or engage in self-care until it’s bedtime. Your room is dark and quiet with minimal stimulation.
Everyone has a bedtime routine that helps them unwind before they go to sleep. However, some people enjoy the night so much that they don’t want it to end. They trap themselves in a cycle that interferes with their circadian rhythm, causing sleep deprivation.
What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
Many people are “night owls” who simply prefer the nighttime. However, people who engage in revenge bedtime procrastination don’t necessarily have a preference. Instead, they seek “revenge” on their schedules by staying up as late as possible, reclaiming their free time.
Going to sleep means that the next thing will be their alarm ringing the next morning. At first, they put off this moment by staying up an extra hour. They enjoy the peace and quiet so much that 1 hour becomes 2, 3 and 4 until they’re awake to watch the sunrise.
Over time, their brain starts to adjust its circadian rhythm, thinking they’ve switched to overnight shifts. They suffer from insomnia at night and fatigue during the day. As their productivity declines, the added stress makes them want to stay up even longer.
Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination a Disorder?
Revenge bedtime procrastination isn’t a mental health disorder, but it produces similar symptoms: stress, insomnia, exhaustion and irritability. People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be susceptible to revenge bedtime procrastination because they have trouble unwinding and distract themselves easily. They don’t notice how much time has passed until they glance at the clock and see that 3 a.m. has arrived.
Three Most Common Types of Procrastination
People who put off their bedtimes also tend to procrastinate during the day. Laid-back people are just as likely to procrastinate as hardworking individuals, but for different reasons. The way they procrastinate reflects their personality type.
Why complete a boring task when you can do something fun instead? Many people wait for the mood to strike so that they can enjoy their work. Unfortunately, the mood never arrives, forcing them to scramble and causing more stress than they’d have experienced if they’d completed their work on time.
You might even find enjoyment in procrastination itself. When you wait until the last minute, you complete your projects in a frenzied, adrenaline-fueled rush. This “high” makes you want to keep procrastinating, even at the expense of your job, responsibilities and schoolwork. Inevitably, one deadline finally catches up with you.
Avoiding the Task
You’re not waiting for a mood to hit that makes the project fun, but you still don’t want to complete the task, so you put it out of your mind. Sometimes, you talk yourself out of tackling the project. You need to complete other chores first. You’ll probably get distracted midway. You didn’t get enough sleep last night. Why get started if you won’t produce your best work?
Sometimes, you avoid the project for so long that you forget the deadline and have to admit that you failed or throw the project together in a last-minute panic. You end up with the mediocre work you told yourself you wanted to avoid in the first place.
Overestimating Your Time
This project won’t take long. Why start now? You assume that the task is so easy you can put it off for weeks, focusing on activities you enjoy instead. Sometimes, you don’t even mark your calendar or set a reminder. You’re confident that you’ll remember and turn in your project on time.
Unfortunately, this overconfidence leads to missed deadlines and lost opportunities. People stop trusting you because you abandon plans. While you could have completed the project early and relaxed afterward, you have to abandon your favorite activities as you race to catch up. Still, some people don’t lose their confidence.
Why Sleep Is Your Superpower
Have you ever gone to sleep with a physical or mental ailment and felt better when you woke up? Sleep gives your body time to repair and recharge so you feel alert again. Other sleep benefits include:
- Improving memory and concentration
- Reducing your risk of diseases, such as strokes and diabetes
- Giving you energy in the morning
- Improving your mood
- Enhancing your immune system
- Helping you drive safely
Some people believe that dreaming helps them hash out problems and awaken with a clearer outlook. In any case, sleep is the key to health and wellness.
How to Break the Cycle
While you can learn about sleep deprivation and time management, you won’t truly break the cycle until you face what made you procrastinate in the first place. Is your job so stressful that you dread going to work in the morning? Have you crammed too many activities into your routine? What are you trying to avoid?
Focus on lifestyle changes that make you look forward to the next day. Just looking for job opportunities makes you feel better because you’ll remember that you have options outside your current position. If you have a busy schedule, look for activities you can eliminate. Consider asking for help with certain tasks, such as making dinner for your kids.
Likewise, incorporate self-care into your daily or evening routine instead of waiting for bedtime. Go for walks, hang out with friends, visit the park and catch up with people on social media. Avoid screen usage before you go to sleep — the blue light tells your brain to stay alert.
Create a calming bedtime routine that signifies to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep — not lie awake in bed for hours. Try to fall asleep at the same time every night so you train your brain to release melatonin. If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get up and come back to bed later so you associate your bed with rest.
Talk About Mental Health
In 2020, the CDC reported that 14.5% of Americans had trouble falling asleep. Insomnia is often a symptom of other illnesses, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sun Health Center’s cutting-edge treatments, such as IV therapy and TeleHealth, may help people who never found success with other clinics. Reach out today to book your appointment.