Revenging on sleep?
Do you find yourself sitting down late in the evening for no great cause, past your usual bedtime, when you know you should go to bed?
Do you watch TV, play a game online or scroll through social media feeling as if the Central Valley duststorms were marching straight into your eyes?
Do you basically put off going to bed thinking that you need some time for ‘you’, and miss out on valuable sleep when you don’t really know what’s keeping you up or disheartened that you’re taking unaccounted revenge from your sleep (as if you didn’t find anything or anyone else to do so). It feels like downtime to you but it’s not.
If your answer is yes, fully or even partially, meaning it happens some of the time, then you are probably experiencing what psychologists term as ‘revenge bedtime procrastination’, which is a revenge for the out-of-control world we are experiencing. Reason could be any — grief, loss of loved one, unrealised goals, entangled relationships, feeling of unfulfilment, sucking job, monstrous boss, etc.
This is a real psychological problem which stops us from getting enough sleep by believing that the only way to take control of our lives is to choose to do something late at night like watching a rubbish repeat TV show, scanning your contacts’ display pictures on Whatsapp, or catching up with unnecessary videos on Youtube. But we forget that sleep is the most vital pillar of self-support and good health that we have, often underestimated though, and the worst fact is that the activities we are indulging in at the cost of it won’t do any good in real sense, not the slightest tinge of pleasure creeping in.
Know what? You can do yourself (and those around you) a whole lot of good by giving due importance to your sleep. Here are a few actions that can instantly help.
- Make a conscious choice to do something in that time that you really want to do (provided it’s legal ;)), for instance, have a bedtime beauty routine, go outside for some fresh air, call a dear friend, or just walk up and down the stairs a few times.
- Express gratitude for what the day has served on your plate.
- Journal or paint how you feel.
- Plan your next day.
- Give yourself 15 minute chunks of ‘me-time’ throughout the day to feel a sense of control, because if you feel a sense of control during the day, you will feel less likely to succumb to revenge bedtime procrastination and be empowered to treat yourself to a timely sleep.