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December 18, 2023/Daily Health Stories

What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

A sleep psychologist explains what 'revenge bedtime procrastination' is and why many people do it.

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CLEVELAND – Do you tend to stay up later than you should so you can have some time to yourself?

Well, there’s actually a name for that.

It’s called revenge bedtime procrastination.

“For most people, that means being in bed on their phones doom scrolling or scrolling through social media. And social media never ends, it can keep going and keep going and keep going,” said Alicia Roth, PhD, sleep psychologist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Roth said that’s considered the “procrastination” part.

But there’s also the “revenge” aspect, which is where you take revenge on the day, feeling like you didn’t have enough time for yourself.

For example, a new parent or someone who has a very busy work schedule might delay sleep so they can finally relax.

And while it might feel good in the moment, Dr. Roth said that lack of sleep will catch up with you and you won’t have as much energy.

Another concern is that it could cause insomnia.

“In the long term, this can go from a choice, choosing not to sleep, into an insomnia, where I can’t fall asleep,” said Dr. Roth. “Because if this is something you do routinely, your body and your brain are going to start to learn I get into bed and I scroll, or I get into bed and I do something else. And it starts to lose the association between bed and sleep.”

Dr. Roth said that doesn’t mean you need to stop using your phone or other electronics completely.

Instead, just use them in another room until you’re tired. That way your bed is only associated with sleep.

Another tip, be mindful of the kind of content you’re watching or reading.

You want something that’s going to relax you.

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