The Real Reason Why You Stay Up until 3 AM


When you go to bed at 11 PM only to scroll on social media until 3 AM, there is a name for that. It’s called “revenge bedtime procrastination,” and it happens to many people.

What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

You might be thinking thatrevengeis too strong a word to use for this habit of staying up late. However, it is an apt name.

Bedtime procrastination is the delaying of sleep to accommodate some leisure. This usually happens when you don’t have time during the day for some fun. Especially when you have a stressful job, this act becomes normal.

When the pandemic started, the wordrevengewas attached to the original term. Soon, the new term gained enough attention on social media, with many people identifying themselves as guilty. You can attribute the revenge part to the act of purposely delaying sleep as a form of revenge on the hours of the day that doesn’t allow for fun and leisure.

When you are ready for bed and have precisely eight hours till your alarm rings the following day, you decide that two hours of Netflix won’t hurt. Two hours later, you finished the movie, and you are on Instagram, viewing your friends’ stories. Before you know it, you only have two hours to sleep before you have to get up for work.

Why Do People Do This?

What concerns researchers is the intention-behavior gap in people’s minds when they engage in revenge bedtime procrastination. Most people want and know that they need seven hours of sleep per night. Despite this knowledge, they still delay their sleep to get some social media time to cap off the day.

Researchers think that it may be tied to the fact that a person’s self-control is already too depleted to control choices at the end of the day. On the other hand, studies also consider that some people just exercise low self-control no matter the time of day. This supports the finding that those inclined to practice revenge bedtime procrastination also procrastinate in other areas of their lives.

What Are the Detrimental Effects of Sleep Deprivation?

Food and water are not the only things that you need for survival. Quality sleep is also a necessity. Constant lack of sleep can impair your mental faculties. Your memory and decision-making abilities get affected when you don’t get enough sleep.

You will find yourself lethargic and sleepy the whole day. You can also be irritable and have a hard time regulating your emotions. In the long run, your physical health will also suffer. Your immune system will eventually weaken.

How Do You Combat Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

If you find yourself suffering from the ill effects of staying up late at night, it’s time to give your sleep habits an overhaul. The key to doing this is consistency and being in an environment that is conducive to sleep.

1. Let Your Bedroom Help You Get to Sleep

Keeping your bedroom cold (or warm, depending on the season) will help you fall asleep faster. As such, you’ll need to make sure your heating and air conditioning system is in tip-top shape all the time. You can stimulate your body’s natural melatonin production by sleeping with your room temperature at around 60 degrees. Melatonin is the hormone that encourages sleep.

2. Keep Your Phone Away from You

Don’t put your phone on your nightstand where you can reach for it anytime. One reason for this is to keep you from using it. The blue light from your phone’s screen blocks the production of melatonin.

This is why you don’t feel it anymore after you decide to check your phone for a few minutes despite your feeling. Keeping your phone out of reach will also help you get up faster in the morning.

When your alarm rings and you have to get out of bed to turn it off, there are fewer chances that you will hit the snooze button.

3. Help Your Body Get in a Relaxed State Before Bed

Thoughts keep you awake. Body pain and irritation do too. To help you fall asleep quicker, follow a relaxation routine every night.

Read a book or do some meditation exercises. Having a long hot shower also calms your body. Being relaxed before you get in bed can help with the stress that is the main driving factor for revenge bedtime procrastination.

It might take a while before you overturn the habits you have developed over time. Be consistent and stick with it no matter what. Fixing your daily schedule can also help relieve the stress that you channel into revenge procrastination.

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