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Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: Meaning & How To Stop It

Most individuals experience revenge bedtime procrastination, but have not heard of this term. Have you ever punished yourself for being unproductive during the day by working all night?

If so, you already have a baseline understanding of revenge bedtime procrastination. This type of procrastination seems positive on the surface. After all, you get your work done.

However, many negative side effects follow. The effects of sleep deprivation are severe. If you work too many late nights, your mental and physical health both suffer.

Most people acknowledge insufficient sleep has consequences. But, they do not know how to stop procrastinating during the day.

In this article, we will outline what revenge bedtime procrastination is and how to combat it.

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination Meaning & How To Stop

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What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination? Definition & Meaning

Revenge bedtime procrastination involves putting off key tasks during the day in favor of leisure. Later at night, you spend time performing those key tasks at the expense of sleep.

This leads to a lack of sleep and a disturbance of your natural sleep schedule.

In general, people justify procrastinating during the day by working at night, but they overlook the ongoing sleep loss consequences.

The term bedtime procrastination is relatively new: it was first introduced by Dr. Floor M. Kroese in 2014. Revenge was incorporated into the term by Chinese scientists.

They found that those who work long hours during the day often feel they do not have control over their time. At night, they stay up to gain the feeling of control they previously lacked.

Bedtime procrastination did not become a relatable term until it was tweeted about by journalist Daphne K. Lee.

She outlined how during late-night hours, people would stay up and work to regain control over their time and finish work.

What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination Definition & Meaning

What Are Signs & Causes Of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

There are many serious negative consequences that could come along with bedtime procrastination. It can take a toll on your physical and mental health over time.

Mental health disorders are more common in individuals who use revenge bedtime procrastination.

It also decreases the prosperity of your relationships and strains your work and daily life routines.

Below, we have listed the most common signs and causes of bedtime procrastination.

10 Signs Of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

  1. Decreased amount of nightly sleep time
  2. Feeling the need to nap throughout the day because you cannot sleep at night
  3. Delaying sleep simply because you feel guilty about working unproductively during the day
  4. Understanding that procrastination has negative side effects, but continuing to procrastinate during the day only
  5. In the morning, foggy thinking and faulty decision making
  6. Feeling overly exhausted when you finally do go to bed
  7. Lack of attention to your work
  8. Difficulty remembering what you accomplished or learned
  9. Feeling distracted during the day
  10. Guilt over not working and feeling like you must punish yourself at night

10 Causes Of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

  1. You could be more prone to procrastination
  2. You value finishing your work, but cannot find effective ways to do so
  3. You have trouble with time-management and scheduling
  4. You are a night owl who is more productive during the night
  5. You struggle with self control, and your natural sleep pattern plays a role in this
  6. You are work a high-stress job or experience burn out
  7. You do not find passion in your job and cannot prioritize it, even if you know you should
  8. You believe that sacrificing sleep is alright if it allows you to get control over your time
  9. You feel like there are not enough hours throughout the day to accomplish your goals
  10. You underestimate how long work takes and underestimate the negative health consequences of even acute sleep deprivation

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What Are the Negative Consequences of Bedtime Procrastination?

All elements of your health are negatively impacted by this phenomenon: emotional health plummets, mental health decreases, and even physical health suffer.

One of the core negative consequences of sleep loss is weight gain, for example. Having a consistent bedtime can help you be more productive and organized.

On the other hand, poor sleep habits decrease your attention span, ability to be productive, and even your general real happiness.

Below, we created a list of facts about the consequences of sleep restriction and revenge sleep procrastination.

Statistics and Facts About Negative Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

  1.  Self-compassionate individuals are more likely to have quality sleep practices, and thus less likely to use bedtime procrastination. They use other strategies to prioritize work and do not punish themselves at night.
  2. Bed procrastination leads to delays in social development in adolescents.
  3. Additionally, those who do not go to bed on time increase their risk for insomnia and daytime drowsiness. They cannot focus as well as those who have positive sleep habits.
  4. One potential remedy for sleep procrastination is limiting the amount of streaming services you use. Studies have shown there is a link between this type of procrastination and show binging during the day so you are forced to work at night, while your bedtime routine is ruined.
  5. Bedtime procrastination behaviors explained 33% of the difference in insomnia severity in university students, showing there is a tie between the two.

How To Prevent & Fix Sleep Procrastination?

Understanding sleep procrastination is tough. However, to get over this habit, learning about it is crucial.

Once you understand how this phenomenon negatively impacts you, realize that it is within your control. You can take steps to decrease procrastination.

Below, we list what you can do to prevent procrastination and undo its damages.

Prioritize Sleep

If you previously valued finishing work first, it is time to change your priorities. You may have neglected sleep for years, which sets you on the path to mental health troubles.

Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.

Then, try to understand the culprit behind revenge bedtime procrastination: why did you stay up late? Try avoiding this trigger.

You will sleep better, retain more information, and be in a better mood when you awake.

Practice Good Sleep Habits

You may be wondering: how do I prioritize sleep? There are a number of positive sleep habits that can help you do this.

These sleep-related behaviors ensure you not only get enough sleep, but also get restful sleep.

Do not drink coffee, tea, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages in the afternoon. Remember that caffeine affects your body for around 6 hours.

Try creating a comfortable sleep environment so falling asleep is easier. You could buy a humidifier, play relaxing music, or buy memory foam pillows, for example.

How To Prevent & Fix Sleep Procrastination

Start Your Nighttime Routine Earlier

You have to commit to your new sleep schedule. Ensure you set an early, but still realistic, new bedtime. It will surely take some time to adjust to.

However, the earlier you start your routine, the more relaxed you will be when you start to fall asleep.

This ensures you sleep for a long period of time and also enter into a deep sleep, which is most beneficial to your body and mind.

Start by setting your bedtime an hour before usual. Use an alarm, if you like. You will be more sleepy at the end of the hour, and thus less likely to stay up late.

Turn Off Digital Devices

There has been more than one study on sleep procrastination that points to technology as the main culprit.

If you plan to watch a television series in the evening, commit to watching just one episode. Turn off auto-play whenever possible.

If using mobile devices or laptops, set restrictions on how much time you can spend on them. Set a bedtime on the device so it automatically shuts off.

Then, try meditating, reading a book, performing gentle stretches, and other activities.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Is revenge bedtime procrastination a disorder?

No, revenge bedtime procrastination is not categorized as a disorder. No doctor can diagnose you with this condition, and it is not listed in the DSM.

However, although it is not a disorder, this does not mean it does not have serious consequences.

This form of procrastinating can increase your susceptibility to diagnosable disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Why do I procrastinate to bedtime?

Procrastination results from a number of reasons. You could simply have trouble with time management.

You may not realize how quickly time goes by when you are performing unproductive activities. Or, you may simply not value your work much.

Then, you are forced to work until late at night, since you do not want to lose your job or perform poorly on an assessment.

Psychological conditions such as depression also contribute to one’s desire to procrastinate.

Who coined the term revenge bedtime procrastination?

Bedtime procrastination is still a relatively new term. It was originally mentioned in a 2014 paper by Floor M. Kroese.

Later, the “revenge” element of this term was added by a Chinese researcher. They studied the behavior of hard workers who felt they did not control their work time

A journalist named Daphne K. Lee popularized the term in a tweet, which now has over 200,000 likes.

Why do people stay up late?

People often stand up late because they do not get work done during the day. People become guilty for not being productive, so they punish themselves by working late into the night.

They also do not want to lose their job or fail a test, so they study or work at night. This is a sign of revenge bedtime procrastination.

Some people stay up late because they naturally have different sleeping patterns. Others simply lose track of time.

What happens when you stay awake for too long?

If you stay awake for too long, you miss out on sleep. Sleep is crucially important to be healthy. Your physical, mental, and social health are all impacted by sleep.

If you do not sleep enough, insomnia, depression, and anxiety are all more likely. You may also be less productive and remember less during the day.

Those who stay up late typically have a higher weight and higher blood pressure as well. They may also have less motivation and thus less career success.

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