Raise your hand if you've recently thought, "There aren't enough hours in the day."
We all do, but some of us may feel this way more often than not. If it's preventing you from sleeping, it could be a problem.
You may end up working all day and decide to spend an hour or two browsing social media. But before you know it, it's past midnight and you have to wake up and get back to work in just a few hours.
This practice is known as revenge sleep procrastination. The National Sleep Foundation defines it as "the decision to forgo sleep in exchange for free time due to a lack of free time in your daily schedule. It generally includes
Delayed sleep, which reduces the total amount of sleep you get at night
Staying up late without a valid reason, such as an underlying illness
Awareness of the negative effects of staying up late.
Retaliatory sleep procrastination occurs when you feel stressed, usually because work hours are too long and you don't have enough time, so you decide to deliberately compromise your sleep schedule and use it for your own personal time.
We live in a highly connected world - thanks to cell phones, instant messaging apps and the Internet, we are busy and have less and less time for ourselves.
While taking time for leisure, relaxation or self-care is usually good for your health, if it habitually gets in the way of your sleep, it can certainly be bad for your overall health.
The main indication that you are doing this is that you are actively delaying your bedtime to support doing something you feel relaxed about. You may even be doing this unintentionally.
How retaliatory sleep procrastination affects your health
You may think it's okay to give up sleep to squeeze in some self-care - like meditation. However, staying up late and waking up early too often can lead to sleep deprivation, which can have a long-term negative impact on overall health and well-being.
For this reason, sleep should come first. "Self-care practices are important and vital to one's health, but doing so at the cost of sleep deprivation does not support our overall health. The National Sleep Foundation's recommendation for adults is seven to nine hours of healthy sleep per night.
How to break the habit of vindictive sleep procrastination?
You know retaliatory sleep procrastination has become a problem when you constantly interfere with sleep and feel tired the next day.
Compress moments of relaxation into the day. Sometimes we can't control when the day ends so it's best to find some time to relax during the day. She suggests taking a 10-minute walk after a meeting, or practicing deep breathing exercises a few times a day.
Start and stick to a relaxed bedtime. It's important to relax before bed. You need to avoid stimulating screens, such as cell phones or TV, and instead choose activities that promote sleep. Maybe you can take a bath, because that will calm you down.
Say "no" to unnecessary tasks to free up time during the day. "Prioritize your tasks and delegate what you need to do so you're not extending your day on the other end.
Create separation from your home life and work life. It's important to set these boundaries and avoid working in bed at all costs.
Stick to breaking habits. Start small, praise yourself when things are going well while giving yourself a break, and stay realistic about your expectations; it may not always be great. Don't get discouraged, get right back to work and keep trying to achieve breakthroughs.
As soon as you fall asleep, you will feel refreshed in the morning and still be able to function during the day, and that's what's important. We need sleep for optimal health. You need sleep to recover and restore yourself.