I blink my weary eyes into focus and run my hands through my hair, attempting to get relief from the terrible 3 AM headache. I click ‘next episode’ and convince myself for the eight-time that I will go to bed after this. The bright screen’s glare jars my naked eyes, while tiredness envelops me. I pull my super cozy blanket closer to me and even though the episode has come to an end, I am not ready to bid goodbye to my favorite series.
The season is over but I need more content. As time fades away, I am caught exploring the abysses known as Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. The tears from my sleep-deprived eyes are accompanied by a heavy dose of guilt. After hours of watching random videos on Youtube ranging from the brut documentaries to makeup challenges, I peel my eyes open to glance at the windows where I see a ray of sunshine seeping in.
That’s when I know that I really messed up.
If the above experience resonated with you, then you’ve also been a victim of “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination.” Revenge Bedtime Procrastination describes the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time. It’s an increasingly common phenomenon seen amongst adolescents, college students, and young professionals, that stems from having a daily schedule lacking in free time.
Since the pandemic began, the extended working hours have led to a reduction in normal leisure time. Online classes that stretch the day in front of screens and are bereft of campus life are poignant factors contributing to revenge sleep procrastination.
The history of revenge bedtime procrastination is relatively new. The "revenge" prefix was believed to be added first in China in the late 2010s, possibly relating to the 996 working hour system (72 hours per week). "Revenge" because many feel like it's the only way they can take any control over their daytime self.
In the era of workism, to cope with the pandemic blues and anxiousness, most of us opt to say “yes” to everything. As a result, we spend the entire day sitting and torturing our bodies. Unfortunately, with the smallest microorganism hijacking our lives, we have unknowingly neglected our health.
Revenge Bedtime Procrastination has unintentionally become a part of everyone’s lives by now. We have highly romanticized it and now sending the snap of the beaming red Netflix logo on the laptop screen with the 3 AM timestamp is considered cool.
The daytime stress and the workload result in staying up late at night, catching up on stress with an added factor of FOMO. These very reasons have resulted in a solid 40% of people with sleeping problems.
Nope! Ignoring your health is not cool. A shuffling, irritable zombie state during the day aside, sleep deprivation over the long term can cause permanent damage to the body.
People end up more susceptible to cardiovascular problems and metabolic disorders, like diabetes. In addition, and especially concerning in light of COVID-19, insufficient sleep can erode immune function and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.
The best solution to this is recalling the advice that our teachers gave when we first held a pencil in our tiny hands.
“Early to bed
and early to rise
makes a man
healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
If you would like to break the vicious cycle of revenge wreaking havoc in your daily life then stick to a consistent sleep schedule, avoid using screens before three hours of your sleep and gift yourself a healthy, good night’s sleep.
Don’t victimize and revenge your own self. Save that revenge for that one friend who always asks you to send notes with emotional blackmail or the tumultuous whims of your sibling who sneaked the last chocolate from the fridge and go to bed early tonight:)