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Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: Everything you Need to Know


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January 9, 2023

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“Just one more episode, and then I will snooze.” Is this you? Even when you know the following day, you will feel groggy. Or do you focus on your side hustle late at night to achieve your financial goals? Although the night’s silence and the relaxing time without distractions are perfect for leisure or extra work, taking your sleep for granted is unjustified. 

If you are delaying sleep for any reason, you are living the term ‘revenge bedtime procrastination.’ What is it exactly? Keep reading this article to know more about it and how to stop revenge bedtime procrastination.

What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

What is revenge bedtime procrastination? It is a situation where people procrastinate their sleep time for leisure or’ me’ time. Busy schedule keeps them away from the activities they want to engage in. 

Lack of personal life creates an urge to steal time from sleep schedule. It gives people a sense of control over their life. Although they know the importance of sleep, they need help implementing it. Moreover, the power of social media is such that it strongly binds people and keeps them scrolling even at the cost of their sleep. 

The interesting fact is that the Chinese term, ‘bàofùxìng áoyè,’ when translated, means revenge bedtime procrastination. This term went viral on Twitter. Those suffering from varied sleep issues found the term relatable, and the post became famous worldwide. 

Psychology Behind Bedtime Procrastination

Is there any psychology behind bedtime procrastination? Yes, the below points show how sleep revenge takes place.

  • Lack of self-regulation – Many people know that the lack of sleep will make them tired the next day, thus affecting their productivity. Yet, due to a lack of self-regulation, they still procrastinate sleep. 

Self-regulation needs a high level of motivation to stick to the routine. However, ironically, a tired body and even a self-regulated mind find it difficult to resist the urge to use ‘me’ time. Thus, bedtime procrastination.

  • Control over life – People need control over their time and personal life due to job responsibilities or household chores. Therefore, they tend to fight back subconsciously with things or people who snatch their time. By stealing the ‘me’ time, a sense of control prevails. However, this behavior can negatively impact overall health. 
  • Overcome stress – Daily stress leaves people with no time to heal the body and mind. A vicious neverending cycle of work and sleep makes them feel exhausted and irritated. Therefore, people engage in leisure time to overcome stress and distract themselves. 
  • Are procrastinators in general – Some people have the habit of procrastinating things. For example, “I will pay the bills tomorrow or next week” or “I will start my morning walk tomorrow.” Unfortunately, tomorrow never comes. Similarly, they push away their bedtime schedule for unnecessary reasons. 

So, how to fix the revenge bedtime procrastination? You might ask. The ideal solution is to get a flexible job. A study shows that 51% of employees desire flexible working hours instead of 9 to 5 jobs.

Causes of Bedtime Procrastination

What causes bedtime procrastination? Out of many factors, the following points can cause going to bed late at night. Let’s have a look below. 

  • Responsibilities – Busy schedules leave little to no time. High job responsibilities or shift duties disturb work-life balance. For most people, sleeping early at night means waking up to a monotonous routine. Lack of personal life creates the urge to fight back for some ‘me’ time and to break free from external control. 
  • Night Owls – People who are night owls tend to procrastinate sleep as they can’t go against their natural sleep cycle. Some people procrastinate sleep to achieve more work goals and are unable to detach themselves from work. 
  • Unorganized Life – Most people fail to live organized lives and love to do things randomly. Being unable to prioritize essential things in life, such as sleep, they overlook the adverse effects of staying awake at night.
  • Burnout – Burnout is also the reason behind bedtime procrastination. Especially high profile employees or mothers who delay their sleep for newborns are affected mainly by sleep issues. 

What Behaviors Are Associated With Bedtime Procrastination

Three factors convey the behavior of bedtime procrastination-

  1. Delay in going to sleep reduces the total time of quality sleep.
  2. There is no valid reason for delaying sleep.
  3. The person is aware of the negative consequences of sleep and still delays it.

Procrastination or bedtime revenge has adverse effects on health that cannot be seen instantly. Therefore, people focus more on delaying it and consider this time as a reward for postponing sleep in the present moment. Thus, these behaviors are associated with bedtime procrastination.

How It Could Affect Your Health

Below are the harmful effects of Revenge sleep procrastination on your health which can take critical form in the future.

  • It can cause sleep deprivation, where the body cannot recharge properly. 
  • The thinking, focus, and memory of a person gets depleted. 
  • Daytime sleepiness can hamper productivity and increase drowsy driving risk.
  • It can cause cardiovascular problems and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
  • A person suffers from emotional disturbance leading to depression and anxiety.

Accumulates high amount of sleep debt leading to insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.

How To Prevent Sleep Procrastination

How do I stop revenge on bedtime procrastination? The following points will help you to prevent sleep delay if you are serious about your health.

  • Follow a bedtime routine consistently. 
  • Take short, frequent breaks while performing daily activities and include leisure time to detach yourself from work.
  • Delegate your work and learn to balance work and personal life.
  • Focus on having a healthy diet.
  • Know your body’s circadian rhythm and align your bedtime routine accordingly.
  • Exercising improves sleep quality.

Meditation and journaling will be beneficial to ease stress and get a peaceful rest.


 So now you know what revenge bedtime procrastination is and the tips to avoid it. However, do remember that you need more than external things to avoid sleep procrastination. It is crucial to understand the importance of sleep and intend to take action from within. Sleeping on time and caring for your overall health should be your priority. If you are determined to take charge of your life and sleep, revenge bedtime procrastination will be a thing of the past.


Yes, it is real. When you say, ‘I will just watch a few more reels, ‘ shows you are delaying sleep unnecessarily.

Yes, procrastination has been found to be a pervasive problem among people with ADHD.

Preparing your day ahead, following good sleep hygiene, and unwinding before bed will help you enforce bedtime.

Avoiding heavy food before bedtime, keeping your gadgets away, walking, meditation and journaling and following a strict sleep routine will help to stop a bedtime battle.

Eating and drinking, intense exercise, trying to be a night owl, and scrolling social media before you hit the sack are some of the poor sleep habits.

Your sleep schedule will depend on your biological clock. However, setting a time for sleep, setting bedtime alarms, avoiding excessive napping, and sleeping in a peaceful and relaxed environment is the healthiest sleep schedule.

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