“Revenge Bedtime Procrastination” Is A Tough Cycle to Get Out Of.
It finally became too much a problem in my life and I needed to change.
“A few more videos on YouTube should be fine…”
“One more game of DOTA 2 and I’ll still be able to get six hours of sleep.”
“I’ll just stay in bed and browse some Instagram until I get tired.”
Above were the things I would consistently say to myself as the clock on my phone neared 11:00 PM, even around 12:00 AM at times. I wouldn’t be able to actually sleep until 2:00 AM and most weekdays, and I would have to wake up and stumble out of bed less than six hours later usually to make the hazy commute to work.
I would be pretty tired at work but able to barely function by overloading myself with multiple cups of coffee. I would feel awake later during the day but the cycle would rinse and repeat until I would attempt to “catch up” on sleep by waking up really late on the weekends.
Eventually I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?”
Understanding the why was the most important part to changing my behavior. Deep down I knew that this was unhealthy for me but I was getting slight dopamine rushes by mindlessly scrolling social media or starting another game on the computer that could last up to an hour when I clearly should be winding down for bed.
I think one of the biggest reasons was that I wanted to regain control of my time. It felt like I was already spending most of my day doing work for other people, and that I barely had any time left at night for myself. I did some research into this, and found that there’s an actual term for it called “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”.
According to the Sleep Foundation, people in high stress jobs that take up most of the day tend to engage in this behavior. They end up sacrificing sleep for their own recreational activities and it becomes a cycle of sleep deprivation and can lead to health consequences.
People who engage in this behavior may not have any sleep disorders at all and are aware that sleep deprivation is bad in general. However, the sudden rush of dopamine, the feeling of regaining control of leisure time, and a way to not think about the…