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Revenge Sleep

Happy World Sleep Day!

Confused? Don’t be. World Sleep Day is an important (although often overlooked) reminder about how quality sleep is a foundational pillar of health. The theme for this year’s World Sleep Day is “Quality sleep, sound mind, happy world” – and as latex mattress experts and advocates for better sleep, we’re all on board this initiative!

One habit we’re not on board with though, is revenge bedtime procrastination. And it’s the direct opposite of “quality sleep, sound mind, happy world”.

What is revenge bedtime procrastination?

Have you ever been so busy during the day, that you didn’t have time for yourself till late in the evening? And when that happened, did you feel compelled to “get back” your personal time and space by indulging in whatever you wanted – until well past your bedtime?

And does this happen often? Perhaps… almost every weekday evening?

This is what researchers call “revenge bedtime procrastination”. It’s when we’re “getting our revenge” on tight schedules by packing our evenings with more “things” than there are “hours”. And it’s our sleeping time – and health – that pays the price.

How does revenge bedtime procrastination hurt us?

The biggest issue with this disruptive habit is sleep deprivation. Because sleep is the time when our body repairs and recharges, a lack of it, can cause massive problems.

For students and professionals, a lack of clarity and mental focus – as well as poor memory – throughout the day are some of the biggest drawbacks of sleep deprivation. For people who work with heavy machinery or sensitive equipment, sleep deprivation can be dangerous or even deadly.

In the long-term, a lack of sleep can result in increased irritability, anxiety, depression, weight gain, an increased risk of cardiac problems, and other issues.

Revenge bedtime procrastination is a growing, worldwide concern

In the 2019 Philips Global Sleep Survey that included respondents from over 12 countries, 62% of adults said that they lack sleep. The average amount of time spent sleeping each weekday night? Just 6.8 hours, substantially less than the recommended eight hours.

This phenomenon has become even more prevalent in recent times, as work-from-home schedules (driven by the pandemic) have meant that more employees now have working hours that, while more flexible, also tend to extend later into the evenings.

Alongside the desire to “get back their personal lives at night”, many people also feel that as they don’t need to travel to work, they can wake up later – although the amount of travelling time saved, seldom matches the amount of extra time they spend staying up each night.

Fixing the habit

Is revenge bedtime procrastination an issue for you? Take these steps to regain control over your evenings, feel good about sleeping early, and take back control of your physical and mental well-being.

  • Making sleep a priority: Recognise the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Write down all the reasons why better clarity, performance, productivity and mental/physical health matter to you (and your family) – and look at this list every night to remind yourself why you’re committed to sleeping at a set time.
  • Put yourself first every morning: Instead of waiting till the end of the day to “have time for yourself”, why not do everything that’s important to you, first thing in the morning? Whether it’s reading a chapter of your favourite book, going for a run, watching an episode of your favourite Netflix drama or dedicating 30 minutes to your hobby – you can wake up earlier to get these things done, so you’ll feel fulfilled fresh and early! (And won’t feel compelled to stay up late.)
  • Have your devices help you: While digital devices are often blamed for revenge bedtime procrastination, they can also be our allies. Set time limits on your favourite apps, as well as “wind down” notifications that make using your digital devices a little more troublesome, as well as less fun and “automatic”.
  • Before bedtime, do an activity that makes you sleepy: For many people, reading a book just before bedtime is the perfect way to wind down – as it naturally makes them sleepy after a while, making snoozing easy. You could also try breathing exercises, meditation, gentle stretches, or whatever you find fulfilling (and non-mentally stimulating).
  • Having a super comfy bed: Your mattress, pillow and bolster play a big part in guiding you to slumberland. For example, choosing a plush latex mattress can make sleeping second nature, soon after laying on your bed. For an even more luxurious experience that’s sure to help you drift into slumberland, try a supportive latex pillow and deliciously huggable latex bolster too!

Revenge sleep procrastination can seem like an enjoyable way to “reward ourselves after a hard day’s work”, but the effects this habit will have on our health in the long-term is anything but rewarding or enjoyable.

Treat yourself right by scheduling your days well, getting your personal fulfilment and development done early in the day, and resting soundly (on a comfortable Sofzsleep mattress) at night!