If you find yourself scrolling on your phone instead of going to sleep at night, you’re not alone. It’s called “revenge bedtime procrastination” and it can be harmful to your health.
We’ve all been there. It’s time to sleep, but you just can’t seem to turn off your phone. Psychologists say “revenge bedtime procrastination” happens when people want to “steal back” personal time they didn’t have during the day.
When people stay up late, they upend their own sleeping patterns. It isn’t a new concept, but experts say it’s gotten worse during the pandemic. Working from home is blurring the line between business and personal life, so it’s harder to shut off the devices at the end of the day.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information says, not getting enough sleep is an epidemic of its own and can contribute to mental fogginess, weight gain, anxiety and depression.
When you go to bed significantly later and wake up around your usual time, you risk accumulating sleep debt from the hours lost, according to experts. The only way to get rid of sleep debt is to sleep the number of hours that you missed, which isn’t possible for most people.
Studies show sleeping more on the weekends isn’t the most effective way to make up on lost sleep. People failed to manage the effects of poor sleep during the week by sleeping in on the weekends, according to a 2019 study published in Current Biology. Researchers also found that if someone sleeps in on the weekends, but their sleep quality is poor, they tend to overeat and gain weight.
How to deal with this cycle?
So how do you stop?
It’s completely normal for your sleep schedule to be imperfect, especially during a pandemic. Hence, experts recommend that we transition to sleep both physically and mentally.
Most people like their bedrooms “quiet, dark and cool” so too prepare it that way. You are also suggested to engage in an activity they enjoy like meditation that helps them fall asleep.
Leaving your phone in another room or turning it on “do not disturb” before tucking yourself in could help. Or, work in more time for yourself during the day so you’re not tempted to steal time away from your sleep and check it. A strategic power nap could also reduce a person’s sleep debt. Experts recommended a 15-to-20-minute nap between noon and 2 pm.
The amount of sleep someone should get is different for each person, but generally adults should receive seven to eight hours of sleep per night, experts say. So keep your phone away and get enough sleep to wake up to a pleasant, productive day.
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