Posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 at 6:23 pm
Do you find yourself exhausted when your alarm goes off in the morning? Are you exhausted because you went to sleep several hours later than you should have? You may be guilty of “revenge bedtime procrastination.”
Revenge bedtime procrastination is what happens when your day is so full of responsibilities there’s no time for you, so you sacrifice sleep to get a few hours of leisure time. This is not new behavior, but the number of people indulging in it has exploded because so many people are working from home. The lines separating work responsibilities, home responsibilities, and personal time have become blurred. Often, people have very little time for themselves. Most or all of their waking hours are spent on work, home chores, and taking care of others such as children and elderly parents.
The result of revenge bedtime procrastination is sleep deprivation. Your mind and body don’t have a chance to recharge. Each person requires a different quantity of sleep, but the average adult needs between seven and eight hours a night.
The consequences of insufficient sleep include:
- Decreased productivity
- A rise in cortisol, a stress hormone
- Negative impact on physical health, possibly increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and/or a metabolic condition, such as diabetes
- Impaired memory, reasoning, and decision-making skills
- Diminished immune function
- Increased risk of daytime sleepiness which may lead to drowsy driving
- Reduced effectiveness of vaccines
Sleep deprivation may also lead to snacking, weight gain, and disrupted circadian rhythms.
One way people try to catch up on their sleep is by taking naps. Napping during the day should ideally occur between noon and 2 p.m. and should be limited to 15-20 minutes in duration. Studies have shown that sleeping later on the weekends is an ineffective way to make up your sleep deficit.
A medical professional who specializes in sleep can evaluate how and why you are being deprived of sleep and help you figure out how to ensure that your body gets the proper rest. Adequate rest will not only help you to function but will help you to remain healthy.
Some of the ways to avoid revenge sleep procrastination include:
- Keep consistent bedtimes and wake-up times even on days you do not have work
- Avoid alcohol or caffeine in the afternoon or evening
- Don’t use electronic devices, such as a cell phone or computer, for at least a half-hour before bedtime
- Stay hydrated
- Try vitamin D and magnesium supplements
- Have a healthy snack of nuts, seeds, and pulses – these are sources of the amino acid tryptophan which aids in the production of melatonin
Turn bedtime preparations into a routine that you follow each night. It is often helpful to incorporate relaxation techniques, such as a warm bath, meditation, or reading a book into your bedtime routine.
You can also call Silent Night Therapy at 631-983-2463 to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to help you address your sleep problems and prevent your overall physical well-being from suffering as a result of revenge bedtime procrastination.