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Here’s The 4-1-1 On Revenge Bedtime Procrastination And How To Stop It

5th January 2022

5th January 2022

By Beth Shelper

“Just one more episode?”

“What’s the harm in scrolling for a couple more minutes?”

“Oh, I really wanted to watch that YouTube video I spotted earlier…”

Ah, another classic case of revenge bedtime procrastination.

What is revenge bedtime procrastination?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of it – does any of those sound familiar at all? All three are all too familiar for us that’s for sure.

Before you know it, it’s midnight, you’ve been in bed three hours but slept for zero of them, and you’ve watched another season of the latest Netflix release and potentially developed repetitive strain disorder in your thumb from all that scrolling on your social media feed. Why, you ask? Well, it’s all about feeling like you’re in control of your free time, making the most of the time you have to yourself, and prolonging that potential dread that comes along with getting into bed, at the thought of another day at work ahead of you tomorrow.

Truth is, we all do it. We know we’re tired. We know we need to switch off the screens and hit the hay. And we know that one more episode will actually hurt. And by hurt, I mean hurt your eyes in the morning when your 6am alarm goes off. Again.

In fact, this ‘phenomenon’, if you can call it that, is so common now, that there has even been a term coined to describe it. That’s right, it’s called revenge bedtime procrastination.

Why do we participate in revenge bedtime procrastination?

Aside from the fact that some of these TV series coming out recently can be slightly addictive – especially if the whole office will be talking about the latest episode tomorrow, we generally participate in revenge bedtime procrastination to feel more in control of our time… despite potentially feeling exhausted.

Let’s breakdown the name: revenge bedtime procrastination

Whilst first identified in a scientific paper in 2014, revenge bedtime procrastination was named following the procrastinator’s desire to achieve revenge against the time they feel that they’ve lost throughout the day: perhaps at a function you didn’t want to attend, perhaps in a pointless meaning, or maybe sitting in traffic during their evening commute… again. All precious time wasted.

The advantages of revenge bedtime procrastination

  • Creates extra free time in your day
  • Establishes an element of control around your time

The disadvantages of revenge bedtime procrastination

  • Less hours of sleep
  • Reduced quality of sleep
  • Interrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythm
  • Increases risk of distance between you and your partner
  • Reduces performance levels from lack of sleep

Sleep specialists on revenge bedtime procrastination

Not only have sleep specialists noted a rise in the number of clients coming to them with issues related to their sleep that seem to directly correlate with their bedtime rituals, these same specialists are noting that this particular habit can be even more detrimental than first thought, particularly in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, where work-life balance is hanging by a thread for many people that have been working from home for days, weeks, months… and even years, now.

One sleep specialist in particular, Dr Lindsay Browning, has stated that this issue isn’t just native to the United Kingdom either. The revenge bedtime procrastination phenomenon is being seen all over Europe, and even China too.

What are the consequences of revenge bedtime procrastination?

You may be thinking that this night time cheat tactic is just robbing you of a couple hours of kip a night, and that can’t be that bad… can it? Wrong.

Aside from the fact that your body needs a certain amount of sleep every single night to function properly – both physically and mentally, a lack of sleep, particularly if you’re sacrificing your precious snoozing frequently (or, let’s hope not – but every single night), you’re putting yourself at risk of not just the disadvantages listed above, but of some pretty serious and nasty implications on your health, too.

Some of the noted health consequences of revenge bedtime procrastination include:

  • Increased chance of heart disease
  • Notable declines in cognitive functioning
  • A decrease in concentration
  • A negative impact on overall mood
  • Warped decision-making capabilities
  • Heightened risk of diabetes
  • Boosted possibility of obesity

So – this discussion kind of brings us to this final question: “is revenge bedtime procrastination worth it?

Is this bedtime strategy worth the risk(s)?

Well, in our humble opinion – the short answer is no. Rather than desperately scrambling for a bit of extra time in the evenings, perhaps if you’re succumbing to the pits of the night time procrastination, it’s time to look at your schedule.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you feeling rested, on a regular basis?
  • Are you organising your time well?
  • Do you go to bed on time every single night?

If any (or all) of the above answers are no, the chances are you are a culprit for the RBP ways. Whether your tactic for putting off going to sleep – it’s time to kick these to the kerb, as they’re only harming your health in the long run.


If you’re someone that struggles with sleep – not to worry. Here at Innermost, we’ve put together a nifty sleep guide (in helpful email format, no less) to teach you the basics. And if you feel like you’d benefit from some natural remedies, check out The Relax Capsules.

Packed with natural ingredients that have been proven to be effective (of course, this is Innermost, after all), those looking for a little bit of extra help, or just wanting to relax and unwind after a long day through natural supplementation are sure to love them.

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