Is Revenge Bedtime Scrolling Unhealthy, Or A Form Of Self-Care?


Finding quality time for yourself may be difficult, especially if you have a complicated work schedule, a parent, a caregiver, or just someone with many responsibilities. As a result, some people have decided to take their self-care into their own hands by sacrificing a bit of sleep to care for themselves by scrolling through their phones or incorporating additional leisure time. However, while intentionally setting time away for yourself can be considered self-care, “revenge bedtime scrolling” can harm your sleeping pattern and overall health. “Revenge bedtime procrastination” is the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time driven by a daily schedule lacking free time, but it can also be considered procrastination.

What causes “Revenge Bedtime Scrolling?”

Here are some factors: 

  • Delaying going to sleep to reduce sleep time
  • The absence of a valid reason for staying up later than intended, such as an external event or an underlying illness
  • An awareness that delaying one’s bedtime could lead to negative consequences

Revenge scrolling or bedtime procrastination behaviors can also cause procrastination in other situations, like avoiding homework or household chores. Most people procrastinate on sleep because it doesn’t bring up negative associations like other responsibilities. Sleep can easily be traded in for enjoyable activities, like reading before bed, watching television, spending time with friends, or listening to a podcast. It’s important to note that sleep procrastination can take on many different forms, like delaying the act of physically getting into bed or falling asleep once comfortable. Another is delaying the time of trying to fall asleep once in bed, a problem associated with rising rates of electronic device use in bed. A person may engage in one or both forms of sleep procrastination, which can reduce nightly sleep.

Is sleep procrastination really “revengeful?” 

Bedtime procrastination is often seen as a way of getting “revenge” during daytime hours when one has little or no free time, but it can be easily reframed as applying a self-care practice to make up for the personal time lost. 

The downfalls of Bedtime Procrastination

Unfortantley, bedtime procrastination can cause sleep deprivation. Without enough sleep, the mind and body can’t correctly recharge, adversely affecting health. When one doesn’t receive enough sleep, it degrades thinking, memory, and decision-making. Sleep deprivation also raises the risk of daytime sleepiness, harming productivity. A lack of sleep is tied to irritability and other difficulties regulating emotions. It’s also been connected to mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Sleep deprivation declines physical health, making people more susceptible to cardiovascular problems and metabolic disorders like diabetes.

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