After an especially busy day working from behind a desk and addressing unexpected chores, you find yourself unable to simply sit down and rest until only a few minutes before bedtime.
Exhausted but disappointed that you weren’t able to watch one episode of your new favorite show, you decide to turn on your TV. You know you’ll go to bed late, but one episode won’t hurt, right?
But after the episode ends and you see the next one’s countdown begin, you don’t turn off the TV. You keep watching. You’ve spent all day working and taking care of other people, and you’re dying to know what happens next in the story.
Then, you finally head to bed. Although binge-watching was somewhat enjoyable after a long and stressful day, you’re well past the start of your usual nighttime routine. You knew it wasn’t wise to stay up late — after all, you have another busy day tomorrow. But you couldn’t help yourself, and you’re not quite sure why.
What you’ve just experienced has a name, and you aren’t the only one who’s done something like it.
This bad habit is called “revenge sleep procrastination,” and it’s not doing you any favors.
Revenge Sleep Procrastination Is Keeping You up at Night
Revenge sleep procrastination is a very real psychological phenomenon. Doing it once or twice may not have too much of a long-term impact, but it can quickly snowball into an every-night occurrence. Once it becomes a habit, your sleep can suffer.
First, What Is Revenge Sleep Procrastination?
Revenge sleep procrastination is the act of staying up later than you intend by scrolling on your phone, watching TV or engaging in any other kind of leisure activity.
Essentially, you delay going to sleep to squeeze in a few more hours of entertainment.
If you have a habit of procrastinating, work long hours or stressful jobs or consider yourself a night owl, you may be more likely to procrastinate sleeping.
And when your schedule is hectic during the day and leaves you no room to unwind, you may quickly fall down a rabbit hole of your favorite activities at the sacrifice of sound sleep.
How Bedtime Procrastination Affects Your Health
Because sleep plays a vital role in our mental and physical health, getting less sleep affects our general well-being over time.
This means a less robust immune system, a harder time concentrating, poorer memory and much more. Once sleep procrastination becomes a habit, it’s harder to get back on track.
Furthermore, a lack of sleep — disorder or not — can lead to serious health complications, including those affecting your heart health.
What You Can Do to Prevent Sleep Procrastination
The most important practice for your sleep and to prevent sleep procrastination is to maintain a consistent nighttime routine. There are added benefits of having a consistent bedtime routine, like avoiding sleep disorders.
So try to cut down on your screen time right before bed. Instead of scrolling through your phone until a few minutes before lights-out, pick up a book, listen to music or write in a journal.
Allowing yourself a moment of mindfulness right before bedtime is also a good habit because deep breathing can help calm your body and mind.
With Help, You No Longer Have to Procrastinate the Quality of Your Sleep
Even if we practice the best sleep hygiene possible, sometimes our sleep quality is still far from ideal. When that’s the case, you may be having trouble sleeping at night and not even realize it.
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can cause you to wake up several times throughout the night and leave you drained of energy the next day.
Featured image via Pixabay