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What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination — And How to Stop

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Calling all night owls: this one’s for you. Do you often find yourself staying up late at night and regretting it the next day? It’s a common problem that many people face. 

People are now calling it “revenge bedtime procrastination”. It’s a phenomenon that’s becoming popular to talk about in mainstream culture. It’s when you stay up later than you should just so that you can have some alone time after spending your entire day catering to other people’s needs, being stuck at work for too long, or experiencing burnout.

In other words, it’s your way of reclaiming your “Me Time” at night when there are generally fewer expectations of people to be productive. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of messing with your Circadian rhythm and your daytime hours when you don’t get the quality rest you need the night before. 

In this blog post, we’re going to explore what revenge bedtime procrastination is, why it happens, and some tips to combat it.

Why Does Revenge Bedtime Procrastination Happen? 

Some people have suggested that it’s due to the fear of missing out (FOMO). Others argue that social media has made us more easily distracted and less disciplined when it comes to our sleep schedules. 

However, for many, it’s just a way of feeling in control of their lives. Staying up late, even if it means sacrificing sleep, helps us feel like we’re back in the driver’s seat. 

We get it—even if you’re tired by the end of your day, reading until the wee hours of the morning or bingeing that show you’ve been meaning to catch up on can feel pleasurable and hard to resist. 

How to Stop Staying Up Too Late

So, how can we combat revenge bedtime procrastination? Getting the right routine in place to support your best night’s sleep and starting healthier habits during the day as well can help you look forward to bedtime. Here are some suggestions.

Take Your “Me Time” During the Day Instead

Try to schedule “me time” earlier in the day rather than saving it for later in the day. If you have a few moments of free time during the workday or lunchtime, why not take a short break to do something you enjoy? 

We know some jobs are high-stress and allow for little room to breathe, but look at your schedule and find time to block off where it’s expected that people can’t contact you about work or daily responsibilities. 

Go for a walk to get some exercise, maybe work on a puzzle, enjoy a special treat from a local cafe at lunch, or turn off all your devices so you can just sit and relax undisturbed by texts.

Same Bedtime, Every Time

Establish a consistent sleep schedule that works for you and stick to it, even on weekends. This means going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day, even when you don’t have to work. 

This helps regulate your circadian rhythm and trains your body to associate sleep with a particular time of day so that you get better quality rest. Set alarms in your phone to remind you to wind down or slip into bed. 

Cue Sleep Mode with Sleep Support

There are many OTC drugs at your local pharmacy that can induce drowsiness. However, if you’re looking for a sleep support alternative to OTC sleep meds, try melatonin. 

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies. It’s released in the evening to tell our Circadian rhythm to “cue sleep mode”. Often, due to screens, stressors, and a busy schedule, our bodies won’t produce enough melatonin and therefore we become unaligned with our natural rhythm. 

A melatonin supplement 30 minutes before bedtime can ease your body into rest and encourage you to go to bed at a reasonable hour. 

Less Screen Time

Instead of scrolling through your phone or binge-watching Netflix, try doing something that’s a little more engaging, such as reading a book or taking up a new hobby like doodling or crocheting. 

Screen time is proven to keep our minds running on all cylinders because of blue light. Consuming reels or watching a show right up until it’s time to sleep can interfere with your ability to wind down, or even want to wind down. 


Revenge bedtime procrastination is a way for many of us to feel in control of our lives. While a term with the word “revenge” in it can seem very negative, it’s really just a sign that your work-life balance is off.  

However, it’s important to be mindful of our sleep schedules and overall health. We can break the cycle of revenge bedtime procrastination and get the rest we need by setting boundaries with ourselves and finding healthier ways to unwind. Remember, it’s okay to put ourselves first during the day.