Author Name: Bhavya P
Qualifications: BSc (Hons), MA- Applied Psychology (specialisation in clinical psychology).
Designation: Consultant Psychologist, ACRO Mental Health Services.
Word count: 521
Reading time: 3 minutes
Reviewed by: Aishwarya Krishna Priya
There have been times when I try to sleep; I try hard to close my eyes and drink water to fall asleep, but I couldn't. Instead, I zone out during the day or wake up having swollen eyes. It’s been a part of my lifestyle due to the hectic work schedules I have had in the past and also due to the recent lifestyle changes we all had to make as the pandemic ambushed our lives.
Boy reading book at night
Yes, I am talking about "Revenge bedtime procrastination”, as the name suggests, it's when we engage in leisure time activities during our sleep time. We tend to forget that anything in excess can be lethal to our health and lives.
To begin with, we can understand the definition of sleep by talking about its functions. One, in terms of maintaining homeostasis, which is through regulating our body temperature and two regulating our emotions, organizing it and increasing our capacity for memory retention (Cai Zi, 2000).
The past two years have been challenging within the interplay of social, financial and health stressors. We habitually relied on our sleep time to read books or browse various content on social media. Additionally, the concept has evidence-based firm research conclusions from multiple sources. Researchers argued that ‘bedtime procrastination is directly associated with self-regulation’. Moreover, people who scored low in self-regulating habits reported an increased incidence of bedtime procrastination (Kroese et al.,2014).
HOW DOES STUDYING ABOUT THE PHENOMENON MATTER TO US NOW?
Of course, it's of concern!
However, why do we continue to engage in it because, during our sleep, we are left alone with our thoughts, which makes us feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable? Because sleep deprivation over time can hinder our daily activities, causing us to feel fatigued. Trust me; I felt overwhelmed by my thoughts too. We are all susceptible to facing a situation of this sort at some point in our lives. We are only human and can’t beat ourselves for a habit that has come by over the last couple of years.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HAVE BETTER SLEEP HYGIENE.
We can maintain sleep hygiene by reducing blue light exposure, which is mainly from the phone.
Minimising your phone usage gradually and separating your bed from your work area would be beneficial.
You can explore why your sleep schedule is getting disturbed.
Express your thoughts and emotions by journaling.
Have a conversation about sleep with your significant other.
Speak out loud about your sleep, to whom you confide.
Prioritising sleep and understanding the importance of sleep will be beneficial for us to lead healthier and happier lives. Sometimes, even after teaching yourself new habits or working with your old habits can be a significant task, so the next best option is to seek professional help. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot cope with your problems, look for the nearest therapist or specialist around you. Please make sure that you fully consent for a session before getting into one when you look for a therapist. Therapy takes time and is subjective to an individual’s recovery patterns.
Cai Zi, (2000) An integrative analysis to sleep function, The Neurobehavioral Laboratory, Shanghai Brain Research Institute, Available from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/016643289500005E?via%3Dihu
Kroese, Denise, Ridder, Evers and Adriaanse (2014), Bedtime procrastination: introducing a new area of procrastination, Available from https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00611
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