Flipping Heck! Learning To Be Productive One Day At A Time

Have You Heard Of “Bedtime Procrastination?

Person in pyjamas holding a pillow and wearing an eye mask

Have You Heard Of “Bedtime Procrastination?

This was originally sent to our newsletter subscribers on the 27th July 2022. If you would like to get content like this in your inbox, sign up using the form in the footer of the website

I’ve been writing about producutivity and motivation for almost 20 years on FlippingHeck! and I only came across the term “bedtime procrastination” the other day!

While you can date the term “revenge bedtime procrastination” back to 2010 – this version seems to relate back to the lack of control Chinese workers feel over their horrendous 72 hour work weeks meaning the only control they have over their time is when they go to bed.

What Is Bedtime Procrastination?

The phrase as we understand it was first coined in 2014 by Dutch social and behavioural scientist Floor M. Kroese and has the following definition:

  1. Falling asleep is actively delayed
  2. There’s a lack of a valid reason for staying up past a reasonable bed time
  3. You’re aware that staying up late may cause issues but do it any way.

A lot of people use the excuse of having some “me” time for staying up late – the kids have gone to bed or you’ve shut off the work computer finally so it’s time to do something for yourself, right?

Maybe you started a new series earlier and it’s a case of “just one more episode”.

Perhaps you’re reading a book and you think “one more chapter can’t hurt, right?”

Maybe you’re a night owl and can’t go to sleep as what others would consider a “sensible” bedtime.

You’re caught in the web of bedtime procrastination.

What Are The Effects Of Bedtime Procrastination?

There are many reasons for bedtime procrastination but they all have consequences.

Delayed sleep over a period of time can lead to disruption in your sleep patterns which are difficult to recover from, you might feel fatigue during the say which can lead to difficulty concentrating, a short temper, high stress levels and even health issues like a weakened immune system.

If these effects carry on over time, they could have a massive impact on your daily life, making your job difficult to carry our and putting a strain on your relationships with colleagues, friends and family.

How Can You Reduce Bedtime Procrastination

There are some things you can go to get yourself back to a routine that works for you – I won’t use the word “normal” here as what’s normal for me certainly won’t be normal for you!

So here are a few things you can do to tame your bedtime

  • Set regular wake-up and bedtimes, even on days off. Yes, I know you might want to have a lay in on the weekend but until you have got your routine back on track you need to have a set routine
  • Get some fresh air during the day – take a walk before work, during your lunch or after dinner. The exercise will do you good and vitamin D is involved in the production of melatonin which helps regulate sleep.
  • Try not to drink caffeine after late afternoon
  • Write down your tasks/to-dos as they pop into your head, that way you won’t be thinking about them as you’re drifting off.
  • Try not to use electronics an hour before bed and if you have to blue light glasses may help reduce the impact of the screen.
  • Set Up “Do Not disturb”. It’s really tempting to check your phone if you get a notification just as you’re nodding off so silence your notifications when you go to bed. You can set them to turn back on just before your alarm goes off so you won’t miss anything but you will get less interruptions while sleeping.
  • Consider meditating. Which it isn’t for everyone but it may help you drift off.

Over To You

Do you suffer from Bedtime Procrastination? If so, what do you do to cause it? Are you a social media doom scroller? Are you always after that next episode of your favourite Netflix show or podcast?

If you’ve manage to stop bedtime procrastination, how did you manage it? Let me know and I’ll share it in an upcoming newsletter so people can try out your tips.

Drop a comment below and let us know your Bedtime Procrastination habits.

About The Author
Katy is always trying to be more productive one day at a time! Whether it's analogue, digital, motivational or psychological who'll try any system that will help her get things done and get organised. As well as running, she also loves making music and reviewing things.
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