Revenge bedtime procrastination, why we can’t put down our phones and sleep

Can’t sleep at night? Here’s why.

Have you ever had a long day and instead of sleeping, you scrolled through your phone or binge-watched your favourite series?

You ended up sleeping too late and woke up tired and unrefreshed.

“Revenge bedtime procrastination” is a rising concern in sleep science. It refers to the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time due to a lack of free time in your daily schedule.

This practice is common among people with stressful jobs who need to find entertainment while sacrificing sleep.

Sleep procrastination may be influenced by multiple factors, including:

Sleep chronotypes

Sleep chronotype refers to the body’s natural preference for sleeping at a specific time, you’re either an early bird or night owl.

There four sleep chronotypes.The lion chronotype is an early bird, productive in the morning but struggling with social schedules in the evenings. The bear chronotype, which makes up 55% of the population, follows the sun and can maintain social life in the evenings. The wolf chronotype, equivalent to the classic night owl, makes up 15% of the population that stays up at night and sleeps during the day. The dolphin chronotype, based on the ability of real dolphins to stay alert even while sleeping, is best described as insomniac.

Some people, like “night owls,” naturally feel more awake at night. When they’re forced to follow schedules made for “early birds,” they might stay up late to unwind and feel more in control.

Why we can’t put down our phones and sleep [GettyImages]

Phones are addictive

The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the body’s generation of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Also, phones provide continuous access to information and interactions with others, making it enticing to stay engaged and not feel left out of the latest gist or meme.

Lack of self-control

Do you know that you have less willpower and self-control at the end of the day? Your willpower is depleted at night, you’re so drained from work or school that you don’t have the willpower to say no to distractions from your phone. In case you are wondering why you always agree to meet up with your toxic ex at night, this may be why.

Working from home

The rise in bedtime procrastination may be due to extended work hours and the stress associated with working from home.

Surveys have shown that working from home has often extended working hours and reduced normal leisure time.

These factors may trigger stress and sleep procrastination, contributing to nearly 40% of people experiencing sleeping problems.

It’s important to put away our phones at night. This habit can lead to serious sleep deprivation, negatively impacting mental, physical, and emotional health with both short- and long-term consequences.

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