Do YOU suffer from bedtime delay as ‘revenge’? This is why you always stay up late and delay sleep
- There is an increase in people delaying revenge before bedtime
- The phenomenon is causing people to stay up late, resulting in fewer hours of sleep for their free time
- Many people think they don’t have enough free time in their daily life
- So they sacrifice sleep time, even though they know it’s bad for their health to do so
Procrastination before bedtime despite being tired is usually a sign that you’re not getting enough “me-time” during the day, experts say.
The phenomenon known as bedtime delay or sleep delay was coined in 2014 after a study found that people often delay bedtime on purpose.
The survey found that many people struggle to find enough time outside of work hours and social commitments to do what they want, including things as simple as reading a book or watching Netflix.
Postponing bedtime despite feeling tired and wanting some sleep is usually a sign that you’re not getting enough ‘me-time’ during the day, experts say
The Sleep Foundation warns that late nights followed by early mornings and high-stress days can lead to sleep deprivation and not be healthy, especially in the long run.
“Cutting back on sleep can have significant negative effects on mental, physical and emotional health with short- and long-term consequences,” they said.
Despite being tempting at the moment, there are many arguments to avoid delaying sleep.
But staying up late doesn’t automatically mean you’re a sleep delay, the experts say.
There are three factors to consider before you can be described as a sleep delayer, according to the Sleep Foundation.
You should delay going to bed on time, even though you know it will reduce your overall sleep time.
There should be no valid reason for you to delay your sleep and you should be aware that staying up late can have negative consequences.
Late nights or delayed sleep?
Three factors are required to consider sleeping late as a bedtime delay:
1 – A delay in falling asleep that reduces the total sleep time
2 – The lack of a valid reason to stay up later than intended, such as an external event or an underlying illness
3 – Awareness that delaying bedtime can lead to negative consequences
Source: The Sleep Foundation
The idea behind the name of the common problem is that people decide to take revenge on the daylight hours – where they have no free time.
Australian company Bed Threads recently researched revenge sleep delays and found that the 2014 Dutch study found that the more people continue to think about work-related matters and are involved in work activities outside their working hours, the less likely they will be able to to restore their energy.
This suggests that we need some free time to mentally calm down from a busy day. Unfortunately, this often leads us to sacrifice our precious sleep time.
What are the consequences of sleep deferral?
Sleep delay in many cases leads to sleep deprivation, which can have serious consequences, including the following:
Taking increased risk
Reduced memory function
Can’t think well
Increased risk of depression and anxiety
Increased risk of cardiovascular complications
Increased risk of diabetes
Decreased immune function
Source: Sleep Foundation
The Bed Threads team also shared tips on how to integrate free time into your day so you don’t feel the need to sacrifice sleep time.
They suggest limiting yourself to just one episode of our new favorite TV show, meditating before bed to relax, and using your free time on the weekends effectively.
Studies on sleep deferral are still in their infancy, but data suggests college students and women are more likely to have it.
People who procrastinate in everyday life are also more likely to fall into the revenge sleep cycle.
What can I do to reduce my sleep deprivation habit?
The Bed Threads sleep team has put together a list of tips for going to bed on time:
1 – Limit screen time to just one episode of the show you’re currently streaming and disable ‘autoplay’
2 – Better plan your day to take advantage of the hours you do have
3 – Avoid alcohol or caffeine late in the afternoon or evening
4 – Make better use of the time you have on the weekend and don’t sleep in
5 – Meditate or practice yoga as a way to relax and encourage you to sleep
6 – Establish a clear bedtime routine that encourages you to sleep
7 – Speaking to a healthcare professional about how to better manage your stress levels