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Do You Struggle With Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

Revenge bedtime procrastination is a real thing. Lately, I’ve been putting off going to bed for as long as possible. I’m not always tired, but I know I should sleep because I function best with at least 8 hours. However, I read or watch Netflix and convince myself I need the downtime because my brain is always working overtime.

In the modern world, many people are impacted by the consequences of revenge bedtime procrastination. There are several reasons why people procrastinate at night. That is the time when they have time themselves, with the devices and their favorite snacks. Lots of TV shows, YouTube channels, etc. require our attention at that time – it won’t be easy to focus on school or work. It can be really hard to concentrate on what we need to do, especially due to these constant distractions.

For me, even when I try to go to sleep, my brain won’t shut off and I end up getting up to put something away or check an email that I planned to respond to the next day, but couldn’t get off my mind.

And then the next day, I take a nap. So, the whole cycle continues to repeat itself.

Now I don’t know if this is a combination of being in a dark climate at the moment since I moved to Norway in October. Or, if it’s all the traveling I am doing that’s messing up my rhythm. Or, probably a combination of both. Or, it’s just that there is so much I want to accomplish and not enough hours to get it all done.

I wish I could function on less sleep because there is so much I want to do every day. It would be awesome to be one of those people that only need 4 hours of sleep, but most successful people actually do value quality sleep. And sleep is healing and rejuvenating.

revenge bedtime procrastination
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

So what exactly is revenge bedtime procrastination?

I decided to look up what the definition is of this and came across several different responses.

The Sleep Foundation defines it as choosing to engage in leisure activities rather than sleep. One of the behaviors associated with this is not having a valid reason to stay up. The article goes on to discuss some of the psychological factors behind this phenomenon and the emerging research about it.

Another explanation of revenge sleep procrastination is staying up to get time for yourself after a busy day. Essentially, it’s getting revenge on the day and that is where the term comes from.

Personal reflection

So while I sometimes procrastinate going to bed, I’m not sure I am doing it for revenge. I think my issues stem from the constant movement and travel throwing off any semblance of a routine.

However, it is important for me to be mindful of how this procrastination at bedtime is actually harming my self-care goals.

What am I going to do?

I plan to start my evening wind-down time a bit earlier. Another thing I can do is limit my device or screen time before I go to bed.

In addition to some evening strategies, I would like to keep a journal by my bedside to document how I feel when I wake up each day. My word for 2022 is intentionality. As I reflect on the person I am and the person I’m becoming, every part of my life, including my sleep procrastination, must be intentional. And if it’s not matching my personal vision statement, then I alone have the power to change it.

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