Why do we rebel against sleep?

In my blog today I will speak about revenge against bedtime procrastination and how you can take some step to prevent this occurring.

Recall for a moment, if you will, all the antics and excuses that we used as kids to avoid, postpone, all to delay our bedtime? Tactics “aww, just 10 more minutes please.” “Promise I’ll go to bed as soon as this show is finished.” Can I just stay on for a few more minutes, I’m finally almost completed this level in this game?”

The interesting part is that most of the adults’ clients I work with today are still using the vey same stall tactics as they did as children. This is now a real thing! It is a phenomenon called revenge bedtime procrastination.

So, what exactly is this, Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

Simply put, revenge bedtime procrastination is the intentional delay of a bedtime through the act of doing other things. Such as watching TV programs or movies, scrolling social media sites, reading, or partaking in a hobby.

Revenge, why is it called this?

During a deeper dive into this phenomenon, discovering there were very profound emotional and psychological ties.

In this research it found that those involved were found to be on purpose putting off going to sleep. This was found to be so due to them feeling like they lacked control during their day. Therefore, when their schedules were reviewed and that they were recalling the packed 12 to 14 hours or more work schedule, that long household chore list and a weekly calendar chalked full of family commitments. It was found that those involved were fight back for that much needed & wanted “me” time.

So, I will ask you what is wrong with wanting “Me” Time?

Absolutely nothing. It is simple the timing of this that makes it an issue.

In 2018 a study published in The Frontiers in Psychology – showed how people have several activities they wish to engage in every day – those most common being eating, media consumption and leisure activities. However, the interesting part to what they found is even though our desire to engage in these activities everyday are extensive, they were often skip over and missed because the busy daily schedules will not allow for it.

Interesting results

Interestingly, the study showed that the more activities people missed out on. By simply resisting the temptation to do them throughout their waking hours, had a profound effect on the results. What was discovered was this resistance occurred there was a higher percentage of participants who would then purposely put off bedtime to try and ensure it was all fitted in. Even when they were tired and needed sleep.

Lisa Gargaro, the sleep expert from Sleep Co sys “People believe that by using the revenge bedtime procrastination then this allows them to carve out some time at the end of the day. Creating that feeling of being back in command, giving them time to do those things they wish they could have done during the day. Therefore, creating the ‘revenge’ part of the equation. Unfortunately, by self-sabotaging their own sleep, it is unfortunately only themselves they are ultimately taking that revenge out on.”

Is this common?

Based on the results from various recent medical research studies and increased amount of discussion on this topic, it appears revenge bedtime procrastination has become more prevalent since COVID-19 as the distinction between the different parts of our days blur even more than usual.

Really, is it truly that bad?

I do understand the thought behind it. Simply scrolling various social media sites or catching up on your favourite TV show do seem like a great way to unwind after those long day. I understand & get it completely. However, the reality is that these mindless, non-productive pastimes add to your stress and anxiety and even jeopardize your health. This occurs when we allow them to cut into the essential restorative rest both your brain and body need. Blue light that is omitted from all your screens disrupts the biological clock. By doing so it makes our body think it should stay awake, so it does. In turn, the outcome is you ruin your productivity for the next day. Perpetuating that cycle of fatigue.

The Bottom line is simple: It is not something you want to get into the habit of.

How can I stop this happening?

  1. Prioritize your health just like you would for an important appointment or meeting. Make time during the day for yourself. By doing so you will not be so tempted to undermine you own sleep at time.

Do you think you are a revenge bedtime procrastinator?

If you have said yes then here are several healthy habits for you to incorporate in your everyday life. Allowing you to still get the quality “me” time and reduce the urge to stay up past your bedtime:

  1. Walk it off or gentle relaxing yoga. Simply stepping away from your computer at lunch for a healthy meal, a walk, or gentle yoga. A short walk can impact sleep quality vastly. By getting your blood moving and help your body feel ready for sleep. With yoga helping you relax the mind and body.
  2. Taking a break. By scheduling a break daily of 15-minute during your waking hours for light meditation or even better a power nap.
  3. Work-life balance. Where you are working from home, set time for each of your duties at a reasonable time. Allowing for a clear distinction between work and personal life.
  4. Set a media curfew. Powering down all your screens (laptop, TV, phone) for at least 1 hour before bedtime. This is to prevent blue light stimulation which can keep you awake. Consider setting a “bedtime alarm” to help remind you that it is time to retire for the night.
  5. Saying “No” can sometimes be the best answer. It is OK to say no. Do not overcommit yourself for nonessential things. Delegate where you can, to allow more time for yourself. Finding different ways to share the daily burdens with family or friends.
  6. A Schedule of sufficient sleep. Getting sufficient sleep every single day of the week. Try using a bedtime alarm to help keep you from staying up past your best.
  7. Interestingly getting sufficient sleep provides “me” time. It is proven that a well-rested person gets more done and does it better than a sleep-deprived person.

Sleep has numerous benefits for health, well-being, and quality of life. Many find that once they have a good sleep habit & schedule. They start considering sleep to be the ultimate “me” time.

Revenge bedtime procrastination could be robbing you of quality sleep time. Do not let it. Speak to me today about your sleep. This can be done via one of my 15-minute discovery calls where I will discuss how I can help you sleep better. I offer hourly CBT sessions or a 4-week sleep program. Unsure which is most suitable for you then book a call for a no obligation chat to find out which it would be.