About Bedtime Revenge Procrastination
The phrase 'Bedtime Revenge Procrastination' originated in China, where the phenomenon was first noticed by millennials and members of Generation Z. Apparently, it's because of a combination of the long working days we impose on ourselves, today's work-from-home ethos, the changes caused by Covid and an increasing obsession with digital technology that keeps us tapping late into the night, even when we're dropping from exhaustion.
In the summer of 2020, the author Daphne K. Lee introduced the phenomenon to Twitter explaining that we refuse to go to sleep at a reasonable time simply because it gives us that essential feeling of control over a world that has become completely uncertain and profoundly uncontrollable. While we understand we should rest, we can't relax during the day, so we try to get that essential downtime elsewhere, at the expense of a good night's sleep, sometimes any sleep at all. We're unconsciously taking revenge on an uncomfortable lifestyle that has been imposed on us.
So, when we unplug our tech for the night we're left with.....silence. And darkness. And our minds. We have time to think and reflect but when our thoughts and feelings are uncomfortable, when we're scared of where our stressed minds might take us, we tend to do everything we can to avoid even going there. We're subconsciously trying to protect ourselves. But staying up late and mercilessly suppressing our worries only makes the emotions we've squashed stronger and ultimately makes it even easier to fall into a horrible cycle of late-night obsession with screens and the resulting stress lack of sleep takes on our bodies.
Add to this the changes in the way we're using our time and we've created a perfect storm. Perversely, there are actually more demands on our time in lockdown than out of it, with things like home working and home schooling to cope with. We are spending more time on childcare and household chores leaving less leisure time than we usually would enjoy. The home working day tends to be longer because we're not sure when to stop. Our daily rituals have gone out of the window. Add in the isolation and loneliness of lockdowns and it is no wonder we're over-doing social and traditional media. It's a totally understandable reaction to long term social distancing, only a step away from 'quarantine depression'.
If you're struggling to get to bed at a decent hour, staying up later every night because you neither want your 'free' time to end nor tomorrow to begin, you're probably struggling with Revenge Bedtime Procrastination. If you'd rather stay awake and relax than go to bed and actually sleep, the same goes. If the only time you feel properly alive and in control is when you're tapping away on a screen late into the night, it's time to stop, smell the (decaffeinated) coffee and consciously take more care of yourself.
How to Stop Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
The notion that you have free time to yourself is a powerful one. It contributes to our overall well-being. Interestingly, a good night's sleep is the best way to break the Revenge Bedtime Procrastination cycle because sleep helps us feel less depressed and burnt out. So how can we break the cycle?
TV and social media don't properly satisfy the natural craving we all have for a feeling of well-being, so instead of diving into the virtual world you might like to treat yourself to a series of relaxing 15 minute segments of free time during the working day instead of only awarding yourself free time at night. You would take breaks away from your workstation in the workplace, so try to do the same at home.
Don’t be scared of your thoughts. Meditation, even for just five minutes, is very effective. Meditation also helps you recalibrate and realise that thoughts are only thoughts and that although they might not always be comfortable, they can't actually hurt you.
Try to be more self-aware. Ask yourself how you’re feeling and do it frequently. Remember it is ok to not be ok and to feel less than your usual happy self. Confronting, but most importantly, accepting your feelings are valid on a regular basis will help you avoid dramatic outpourings of negative feelings later in the day, thereby cutting back the manic scrolling after dark.
Knowledge is power. Bedtime Revenge Procrastination is rooted in your unconscious mind which is trying to remind you it's great to be alive and that you really need to give it the 'me' time it needs. Understanding what's going on for you makes it so much easier to change and take back control of your life, your sleep patterns and your well-being. At the end of the day, that is what matters.
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Our stunningly pretty, highly effective sleep support products are a delight, a treat, and a really lovely way to help coax your poor, stressed, confused and exhausted self back into a sensible sleep routine. Once you're back on track you'll feel brighter, more alive and a lot more capable of coping with Covid life without resorting to an unhealthy obsession with screens.