We’ve all been there – scrolling through our phones with our eyes barely open after a long day of work. Another busy day awaits us in only a few hours, but we fight to stay awake for some well-deserved me time. Our jam-packed schedules show that these late-night hours are finally our time to relax, but this isn’t self-care – it’s actually an unhealthy form of procrastination. Self-care is supposed to leave us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, but by doing this, we end up feeling even more depleted the next day. This self-sabotaging behaviour is called Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination is a common occurrence among busy parents or caregivers, overworked students or employees, and people with anxiety or poor time management skills. It’s their way of ‘getting revenge’ for not having time for themselves during the day. They prioritise me time over sleep time for a sense of freedom and control. We all deserve a break, but these pauses should help us restore our energy not contribute to our burnout. Here’s how you can break this bad bedtime habit:

  1. Set a sleep time
    As adults, we’re recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Set a bedtime and a wake up time that meets this goal, and stick to this schedule as much as possible.
  2. Establish a wind down routine
    You should be getting ready for sleep at least an hour before bedtime. Avoid using any devices during this time, and instead engage in more relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating, journaling or listening to a podcast.
  3. Take breaks during the day
    When planning your day, don’t forget to schedule in time for breaks. Keep them short, around 15 to 20 minutes excluding meal times, but also make them frequent after short bursts of work, around 50 to 90 minutes.

We should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night in order to function at our optimal level. Not enough sleep can affect your overall health, so focus on setting boundaries and breaks during the day itself. You’ll also be able to experience control and freedom, while still feeling renewed and focused, by planning your time properly.