Sleep procrastination: What is it and what can you do about it?

Your soccer practice is over, your homework is done, your chores are finished and it's *finally* time for you to start getting ready for bed...but you swear you're not tired. After several episodes of your latest Netflix binge and more-than-a-few refreshes of your Instagram feed later, it's suddenly 2 AM. This late-night habit is called revenge bedtime procrastination. Sound like something you might be doing? Keep reading, because we have *all* the deets.


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You might have seen this viral TikTok on your For You Page explaining the basics of revenge bedtime procrastination (AKA sleep procrastination.) Most of us often find our days to be pretty busy—especially if you're a college or high school student—and sacrificing sleep for some much-needed free time doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Although that extra TikTok you watched was fun at the time, cutting back on your sleep can have negative effects on your mental, physical and emotional health

Image: @justgirlproject

While it might be easiest to blame your late bedtime on being a night owl, revenge sleep procrastination is often tied to day-time stress. A long workday combined with a full night of sleep doesn't leave much time for relaxation—which can be really stressful. If you're working and studying from home due to COVID-19, your days might feel even more taxing due to the lack of separation between the spheres of your life. Millennials and Gen Z-ers are the most likely to procrastinate their bedtime—and with things like social media always at their fingertips, it's easy to do. 

Bedtime procrastination offers the illusion of more control over your life, but constant sleep procrastination can lead to sleep deprivation. Your memory, ability to focus and emotions are all affected by lack of sleep, which will end up making your days feel just as exhausting and stressful—if not more. 

Ditching your phone or computer an hour before bedtime can help remove some of those pesky notifications that it's nearly impossible to ignore. (Trust us, we've been there). A hot bath or shower to let go of the day's stress or even journaling about experiences in your day can begin to get you ready for sleep. Better yet, make sure to schedule in some time just for you in the middle of your day. A twenty-minute walk to your *fave* coffee shop allows some control back into your day so you feel less upset by bedtime. 

Thankfully, the importance of self-care is becoming more commonly held knowledge. Although taking time to read a new book or hop on a facetime with your squad is totally necessary in your day, it shouldn't cut in on your much-needed sleep time. 

Image: @selfcarespotlight

You're a hard-working girl and you need a full night of sleep to keep being a total boss every day. Although we totally get late-night TikTok binges, sacrificing your z's won't make you feel better in the long run. So how should you combat sleep procrastination? Easy—put on your fave sleep playlist, snuggle with your fave soft blanket and drift off to dreamland. 

Sweet dreams!

Procrastinating other things in your life? Here's how to deal. 

Sources: MedicalNewsToday, Sleep Foundation

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by Abigail Adams | 5/23/2021