Reading Length: 5 minutes
Does this scenario look familiar to you? You finish your work or school, feeling exhausted from the day. You think to yourself, “I finally have time for myself.” With that limited free time, you open up your phone check your messages, social media apps, or some memes. Just scroll, scroll, scroll. You later spend the rest of the night watching some random videos on YouTube or Netflix. Maybe end up on the weird side of it. Before you know it, it’s already midnight. You know you should sleep but you want to cherish all this time you have. Just thinking about going to school or work early morning the next day fills you with dread. So you delay sleep and keep consuming content. Now it’s 1am, 2am, 3am and the time just keeps going. When you finally do sleep, you wake up the next day for work or school feeling sluggish and exhausted. This terrible cycle just keeps continuing. It makes you question all your life choices.
This scenario is called “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination.” For those who don’t know what this is, it’s when we don’t feel a sense of control and enough time over our daytime hours. So, we refuse to sleep earlier at night in order to gain a sense of freedom and reclaim back those “missing” times at night.
According to Sleep Foundation, “The English term “revenge bedtime procrastination” emerged from a translation of an expression in Chinese that reflected frustration tied to long, stressful work hours that left little time for personal enjoyment.” In Chinese, it’s called 報復性熬夜. I’m just trying to flex on my Chinese haha.
“Revenge bedtime procrastination” has increased by 40% during this pandemic. That explains our messed-up sleep schedules during quarantine. But we already know the costs of getting little sleep. It can negatively impact our memory, thinking, decision-making and just overall health. So how do we beat this?
How to Beat “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”
1. Prioritize rest in your daytime hours.
I discovered that the reason I was trying to reclaim back time at night was that I didn’t feel truly well-rested during the daytime. I worked for hours endlessly which drained my mind and body completely. But once I started doing more refreshing and meaningful activities in the daytime, I was less likely to feel the need to stay up late to catch up on rest at night.
So we need to start making time for ourselves by prioritizing rest and self-care during the daytime, not just the nighttime. Most likely if school and work take up the majority of your day, you’ll need to find gaps in between to rest. Do relaxing activities that can recharge your mind, body and soul. Maybe during your lunch break or in between your classes, you can take a short nature walk, quick exercise, meditation or whatever that can serve you mentally and physically. Even if you feel like you haven’t done enough work, you must still always put rest first.
2. Change your bedtime routine.
I’ll just say it. My bedtime routine sucked. This blog post title was just calling myself out. The highlight of my day used to be watching YouTube videos and Netflix at night. I watched it so much to the point it could be my job title and on my gravestone. Even a sloth’s day was more exciting and productive than mine.
But those activities made me feel even more exhausted, burnt out and unproductive. That’s why I started to replace those activities with more meaningful ones. This includes my skincare routine, foot bath, yoga, journaling, and reading. My current rule is to only allow myself to indulge in YouTube and Netflix only on weekends or on self-care days.
Here are some other ways to change your bedtime routine:
- Turn off electronics at a set time.
- Listening to calming music or ASMR (weird but good).
- Spending time with family and friends.
- Doing jigsaw puzzles (boring stuff help with sleep)!
3. Set a bedtime reminder.
Yes, you’ll have two alarms – one for the morning and one for the nighttime. Before you run away from this tip, hear me out. Too often, I got so immersed in that one show or video I was watching to the point I forgot about the time. Or, I just ignored the time. Pretended it didn’t exist at night. But this only encouraged my bad sleeping habits. So, I knew I needed an annoying alarm to remind me that it was time to get ready for bed.
If you’re a slacker like me and need extra accountability, then you can also try time blocking your bedtime routine. I usually time block my bedtime routine at 9:30 pm with another reminder. I’ve mentioned this so many times but my Google Calendar is my best friend and savior.
Alternatively, you can even use apps that help you sleep on time. I personally don’t like to use this because I want to stay off my phone as much as possible. But if it works for you, then keep going! Some apps to consider are SleepTown or Sleep Sounds.
In a nutshell, you can start taking action by: 1) Resting more in the daytime, 2) Changing up your bedtime routine and 3) Setting a consistent reminder for when it’s time to prepare for sleep. I hope that the next time you go to sleep, you can successfully carry out your bedtime routine and wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested. Sleep is practically the foundation of everything we do. We require enough of it in order to be 10x more energetic and productive in our days. Let me know in the comments how your sleep quality and bedtime routine has been going for you and what do you wish to change?
You may like these other videos on energy building or work-life balance!
- 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time
- 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Tired and Boost Your Energy for College Students
- The One Habit For Better Work-Life Balance (Free Worksheet!)
- 5 Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance
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