Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Revenge bedtime procrastination describes the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time that is driven by a daily schedule lacking in free time.”

Or, as described by Anne Helen Petersen:

You stay up binging a mediocre show. You can’t stop scrolling Instagram or Twitter or a dating app. You’re reading some overly-detailed breakdown of a sporting event, past or present or upcoming. You’re playing whatever dumb game you play on your phone.

We all want some me time.

When you stay up late talking with friends or dancing or playing D&D, you are procrastinating going to bed, but you are also making a pretty good deal with yourself: the fun I’m having now is worth whatever suffering I’ll endure later. But most of the activities performed while revenge procrastinating don’t really compensate for the exhaustion they cause. They might feel essential and non-negotiable in the moment, as some semblance of “alone time,” but they’re really a double fuck you: they kinda suck in the moment, and they really suck in the cascading after-effects. You might feel like you’re soothing yourself, but maybe you’re just….punishing yourself?

Don’t punish yourself.

In an ideal world, deliberation would easily trump the reflexive patterns of self-sabotage.

Alas, if simple clarity was that easy and powerful, then infinite scroll wouldn’t so easily fill the cracks of our days.

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