Do You Procrastinate Before Bedtime? Here’s What’s Keeping You Up

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You’ve spent the whole day running around, ticking things off your to-do list and finally, after you’ve settled down for bed, it’s the last thing you actually want to do. Instead, you scroll on your phone, watch TV or do whatever else it is you do when procrastinating. This is called revenge bedtime procrastination — interesting name, right?

According to Healthline, this concept revolves around the idea that “you’re taking ‘revenge’ on the daytime hours that kept you so preoccupied, and you’re choosing to take some time for yourself at night”. While it might sound alright in theory (taking time for yourself), it often means you miss out on much-needed sleep and end up feeling tired the next day.

Why does this happen?

It’s simple: You just don’t have enough hours in the day and the lack of free time means you take some back at night. Interestingly, research on the topic suggests that those who engage in revenge bedtime procrastination don’t actually want to be doing so. Healthline calls this the intention-behaviour gap.

There seems to be a link between revenge bedtime procrastination, general procrastination and poor self-regulation but researchers aren’t exactly sure what that link entails. It could be that people who are more inclined towards procrastination may be more likely to engage in the bedtime form of procrastination. Or, other theories posit that it could also be possible that the loss of sleep just results in general procrastination.

How to fight the procrastination

To avoid leaving your “me-time” until late at night, try carving out time for yourself during the day. This means taking a proper lunchbreak every day and getting up from your desk. It might feel hard to take a break but schedule out time in your calendar to do so. Take a walk around the block, call a friend for a chat or read a book — whatever you want but take a break!

Taking regular breaks is also important, alongside setting goals that are small enough to achieve during the day. “Using 10- to 15-minute breaks to exercise or decompress during the day can make you more productive in the long run,” Ramiz Fargo, MD, medical director for the Loma Linda University Sleep Disorder Centre, told Healthline.

In fact, a recent study found that taking ‘microbreaks’ can actually positively impact your productivity. “Microbreaks seem to help tired employees bounce back from their morning fatigue and engage with their work better over the course of the day,” the study found.

So, to avoid the endless scrolling come bedtime, try to incorporate a few more breaks into your day to avoid the dreaded revenge bedtime procrastination from occurring.

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