How to Break the Exhausting Habit of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

Revenge bedtime procrastination is the act of intentionally disposing of sleep in desire of leisure actions — binging Netflix or scrolling TikTook, as an example — that offer temporary enjoyment but few long-term life advantages. Revenge bedtime procrastination is particularly likely when busy schedules and day-to-day responsibilities save you the enjoyment of “me time” earlier in the day. (The thought is that you simply’re exacting “revenge” on all of lifestyles’s stressors and duties by way of delaying sleep for leisure and entertainment.)

Of course, sacrificing sleep carries its fair share of consequences — specifically exhaustion, deficient productivity, health ramifications, and shame. In short, revenge bedtime procrastination is an unhealthy habit – and one that can be more commonplace and troublesome for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity dysfunction (ADHD or ADD).

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: Origins, Signs, and Impact

Revenge bedtime procrastination is the approximate English translation of a Chinese expression for delaying sleep to regain freedom lost all the way through the day. The time period took off during the pandemic, as sleep issues and psychological distress collectively skyrocketed.1

Anyone can interact in revenge bedtime procrastination, however other folks with high-stress, busy lives and/or poor time-management skills could be much more likely to dispose of sleep for personal time. That demographic is heavily weighted toward ladies, who as a group misplaced significant personal time all the way through the pandemic as they took on a greater percentage of parenting and housekeeping when compared to males.2

Though a reasonably new time period, bedtime procrastination is not a brand new idea to researchers.3 The behavior – outlined as going to bed late, absent of exterior reasons, and with an working out that the extend will result in adverse penalties – is conceptualized as a self-regulation drawback.4 (You know what else is often described as a self-regulation problem? Yep, ADHD.)

[Free Download: How to Sleep Better with ADHD]

Proper sleep is vital for functioning and total well being. That’s why insufficient sleep and deficient sleep hygiene can contribute to a list of issues together with:5

  • impaired cognitive functioning (memory, focal point, focus)
  • weakened immune machine
  • dysregulated metabolism
  • emotional dysregulation
  • anxiety and different mood issues
  • greater mortality6

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination and ADHD

Why might folks with ADHD be specifically prone to revenge bedtime procrastination?

Sleep Problems and ADHD

Research shows that individuals with ADHD experience problems with virtually all aspects of sleep, together with:

  • problem falling and staying asleep7
  • daylight sleepiness3
  • Poor sleep quality and issue waking up8

ADHD could also be associated with “increased eveningness” (preference for a later bedtime).9

[Click to Read: 9 Sleep Deprivation Solutions for Adults with ADHD]

Other Reasons Why Individuals with ADHD Engage in Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

  • Self-regulation difficulties are central to ADHD, and cause a variety of challenges – impulsivity, hyperfocus, dopamine-seeking conduct, problems with transitions, and extra – that can lay the groundwork for revenge bedtime procrastination.
  • Rumination. You might opt to do literally anything other somewhat than lie in mattress making an attempt to close off an overactive thoughts.
  • Stimulation. To avert boredom and regain keep watch over of the day, the ADHD brain would possibly make a choice to forgo sleep for stimulation – and technology is the most accessible supply of that stimulation.
  • Time blindness. Individuals who struggle with time estimation and discrimination10 won't realize when it’s time to wind down for mattress.
  • ADHD drugs. Sleep problems are one of the most common negative effects of stimulant medicine.11

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: Strategies to Get to Bed

1. Reclaim your daytime hours

  • Plan enjoyable, tiring actions during the day and stick to a agenda that prioritizes them. This will make revenge bedtime procrastination less tempting.
  • Prioritize yourself. We readily give away too much of our power to others right through the day. Learn to put your self first constantly so you don’t really feel so disadvantaged at night time.

2. Practice just right sleep hygiene

  • Follow a bedtime routine. Go to mattress and get up at round the same time, even on weekends. Consider converting your bedtime cue – set an alarm, write in a magazine, do breathwork and mindfulness actions – to break out of the old routine. Take steps to streamline bedtime preparation, which will also decrease bedtime resistance.
  • Avoid monitors no less than an hour before bed. Bright blue mild publicity from digital devices is the same to sunlight exposure, and it interferes with sleep.12
  • Avoid naps all over the day, particularly when you've got trouble falling asleep at night time.13 Adenosine, a chemical linked to sleepiness, builds up when we’re conscious and decreases as we sleep.14 Napping, due to this fact, would possibly deplete the chemical we'd like to get a just right night time’s sleep.

3. Set your circadian clock

What we do after we’re conscious is hooked up to how briefly we fall asleep, whether we will be able to stay asleep, and how we really feel once we wake up the next morning. That’s our circadian rhythm at paintings, or the frame’s natural cycles that lend a hand control our day-to-day schedules and keep watch over sleep. (Interestingly, ADHD is associated with behind schedule circadian rhythm.15)

Light and dark govern the circadian rhythm. Sunlight cues the frame to wake. Darkness produces melatonin, which makes us sleepy. (That’s why it’s important to steer clear of monitors at night.)

Make it a concern to incorporate early morning daylight and sunsets into your days as herbal sleep-wake cues.

4. Exercise

Exercise improves sleep quality and general health.16 It additionally affects the circadian clock.17 Why no longer knock two birds with one stone by means of exercising in the early morning daylight?

5. Quiet your thoughts

If your mind is buzzing with thoughts and worries, write them in a magazine. Consider it a “brain download.” Research presentations that expressive writing can help make stronger sleep and scale back strain.18

6. Consider (or modify) ADHD medication

Talk to your physician about your sleep problems. Stimulants may help improve sleep in adults with ADHD. 19 At the same time, since medication may also contribute to sleep difficulties, communicate to your doctor about adjusting the dose or attempting every other drugs, particularly in case your sleep problems seemed after a new medication.

Putting It All Together: Changing Habits for Better Sleep

Habits are key to all habits alternate, and a should for breaking out of the revenge bedtime procrastination cycle. To build up your chances of creating higher sleep conduct:

  • Set your vision. Don’t check out to overhaul your sleep agenda immediately. Limit your self to changing a small micro-habit to building up follow-through.
  • Connect to your purpose. Ask your self, “Why do I want to get into bed at a definite time?” “Why do I want to prevent attractive in revenge bedtime procrastination?”
  • Apply effort to converting the micro-habit daily, constantly, and purposefully.
    • Choose a word that encapsulates your goal, or the reward that includes higher sleep – pleasure, energy, calm, peace. Repeat this phrase to your self as you’re getting ready for bed.
    • What triggers sure emotion to get you into mattress? If challenges excite you, flip your bedtime plan into a recreation (à la Cinderella, racing house sooner than the final stroke of middle of the night). If humor does it for you, incorporate something humorous into your regimen.
  • Believe in your self and your talent to enact trade whole-heartedly. Know that you will struggle constantly against the identity that is hooked up to the outdated habit.
  • Celebrate when you’re in bed. (But no longer in a way that may disrupt your sleep!) Focus on the satisfied, contented feeling of retaining your intention – it's going to power you to do all of it once more the next day.

The content for this text used to be derived, partially, from the ADDitude Expert Webinar titled, “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: How Women with ADHD Can Break the Cycle of Delayed Sleep and Stress” [Video Replay & Podcast 382] with Christine Li, Ph.D., and Tracy Otsuka, JD, LLM, AACC, which was once broadcast live to tell the tale December 8, 2021.

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: Next Steps

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2Waddell, N., Overall, N. C., Chang, V. T., & Hammond, M. D. (2021). Gendered department of labor throughout a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown: Implications for courting issues and delight. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(6), 1759–1781.

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