Do you stay up late just to have some time for yourself?
Are you exhausted and need sleep but feel you should stay up late to do stuff out of guilt?
Staying up a bit later isn’t a problem, but it becomes a problem if it’s at the expense of your physical and mental health.
Sacrificing much-needed sleep to Binge-watch tv, and scroll social media is not a healthy routine.
If you do this, you are engaging in a behavior called revenge bedtime procrastination.
I’ll explore why it happens, how it affects you, and how you can overcome it.
What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
Revenge bedtime procrastination is a phenomenon that describes the behavior of delaying going to bed despite being tired, in order to have some personal time and reclaim control over one’s day.
The term originated from the Chinese phrase ‘Bàofùxìng bùxǐ’, which means ‘revenge bedtime procrastination’.
This behavior can lead to sleep deprivation. You’re a mom so I’m confident you know what sleep deprivation is and its negative effects.
So why do you do it?
Why do moms engage in Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
While revenge bedtime procrastination can affect anyone, moms are more likely going to express this behavior. You can probably take a guess why, but I’m going to explain along with some points on how to end this behavior for good.
You’re a mom, you have a lot to do, and the days are long.
At the end of the day, you are exhausted but didn’t get any time for yourself. So, you wait for everyone to go to bed, and you stay up.
It feels great to have time for yourself, doesn’t it?
The problem is that this doesn’t actually give you more time, it steals your time. It really depends on what you are doing but for most, the time spent sacrificing sleep (a basic human need) is spent on unproductive tasks.
You might be saying, “But I NEED this time for self-care!”.
Sleep IS self-care. It should never be considered an option. It is not an option it is a necessity.
You can fit in self-care in a busy day, but it has to be prioritized.
If you’ve been following me, you know how much I emphasize doing the things that matter most.
Tough love time – social media and tv is not a priority. I know that you know this but sometimes we need to hear it.
Let’s look in more detail at why we do this.
Lack of Personal Time
Being a mom is a full-time job, and it can be challenging to find time for yourself amidst taking care of the household and the kids. Revenge bedtime procrastination allows moms to have some time to themselves without any distractions.
I get this, I really do. Distractions are aplenty when you have kids.
Don’t let it fool you though.
Let’s say you stay up till 1 am to do “stuff” and you have to wake up at 6 am to get ready for the day. Do you think you will be rested enough to function throughout the day?
Coffee only goes so far and doesn’t work miracles.
5 hours of sleep is okay occasionally and a bad night’s sleep happens sometimes. But you can’t sustain this. It will catch up with you.
It may creep up slowly or smack you in the face out of nowhere. It affects everything, how you parent, how you work, how you care for yourself.
It’s not worth it.
Do this instead: Wake up early. But only after a proper night’s sleep. You will be surprised by going to bed at a reasonable time and waking a few minutes earlier you will get a more productive start.
Suggested Reading: How to Create a Morning Routine that Empowers You
Guilt for Not Accomplishing Everything During the Day
Moms often feel guilty for not being able to accomplish everything on their to-do list during the day. Revenge bedtime procrastination is a way to make up for lost time and feel like they’ve accomplished something.
You might have been able to clean up the kitchen a little bit and *maybe* read a few pages in your favorite book. It’s more likely that you were too tired to do those things and instead got sidetracked and scrolled your phone.
Do this instead: Skip the long-to-do list and choose 1-3 priority tasks to accomplish in your day. If you completed one priority task today that’s a win. If you keep this up, you will do it again and again. You accomplish more overtime than trying to salvage some time during your sleep schedule.
Suggested Reading: Ditch the To-Do List: 3 Simple Methods to Help You Be More Productive
Fear of Missing Out
With social media and the internet at our fingertips, it’s easy to get sucked into the endless scroll. Moms might fear missing out on the latest news or updates, causing them to stay up later than they should.
Another kind of FOMO is an extension of guilt. You might want to see what other moms are doing. Are they accomplishing more? Is their home tidier and more organized? Are they happier? Etc.
You can really drive yourself bonkers doing that. The reality is that some mom out there is going to appear to be doing better than you. This applies to everyone, mom or not.
Do this instead: Focus on your values, goals, and most importantly – your health. Unsubscribe to mom channels that make you feel insecure or make you do things that are at your expense. Revisit your values and re-establish your goals.
Suggested Reading: 7 Smart Tips for Successful Goal Setting & Planning for Moms
The Negative Effects of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
You might already be aware of the negative effects, but I’ll list them as a gentle reminder.
Sleep deprivation can cause a range of negative effects such as mood swings, fatigue, and decreased productivity. You don’t need this in your life.
Adverse Effects on Mental Health
Sleep deprivation can also have adverse effects on mental health. It can increase feelings of anxiety and depression, making it harder for moms to cope with the daily stresses of life.
You’re a mom now, stress comes with the territory. You need to be resilient and be able to cope with stress because it’s not going to disappear with the snap of your fingers.
Get sleep so you can better function and cope.
Poor Physical Health
Sleep deprivation can have negative effects on physical health as well. It can weaken the immune system, and increase the risk of other more serious conditions.
On a simpler scale, you will not have the energy to do that morning workout. You will likely say “Forget it” and defer it for another time. This cycle will repeat, and you will wonder why you are so out of shape.
Tips for Overcoming Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
Setting a bedtime routine can help train your body to know when it’s time to sleep. Make sure to turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime and create a relaxing environment in your bedroom.
Make sleep a priority by scheduling it into your day. Treat it as an important appointment that you cannot miss.
Find Alternative Ways to Relax
Instead of scrolling through your phone or watching TV, try alternative ways to relax such as reading a book, taking a bath, stretching, and/or meditating.
Self-care is making sure you are meeting basic needs like eating nutritious food, getting regular exercise, and seeking support from friends and family.
Revenge bedtime procrastination is, unfortunately, a very common behavior among moms.
If you are sacrificing sleep as an escape from the daily grind, or trying to make up for lost time, you are just digging a deeper hole for yourself.
You can overcome this.
Figure out what your top priorities are for the day and put the rest aside.
Give yourself a break from social media in the meantime or unsubscribe from channels that bring you down.
Always meet your basic needs as mentioned above. You will just float through life without them.
Let go of the guilt because you are enough.
Say No to revenge bedtime procrastination and set a sleep schedule for yourself – every day.
You need sleep and your family needs you to sleep too so you can function at your best.