What’s Revenge Bedtime Procrastination & How To Deal With It

It’s 2 A.M. at night on a regular weekday, and you are either doom-scrolling through your social media accounts or binge-watching the latest show on Netflix. Your eyes barely have the energy to stay open, yet you keep pressing the ‘next episode’ button. When you finally give in and get to bed, you indulge in yet another podcast before drifting off. 

If you relate to this, there’s a name for your full-fledged rejection of a healthy sleep schedule, and it’s called ‘revenge bedtime procrastination.’ It’s a term widely circulated and used on the Chinese Internet and means purposefully denying yourself sleep to make quality time for yourself. 

New to the whole self-revenge conversation? Don’t worry!

In this post, we are going to break down what revenge bedtime procrastination is and how you can deal with it. Let’s dive in.

What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

revenge bedtime procrastination

The term ‘bedtime procrastination’ was first used in 2014 in the Netherlands. It was used to describe a situation in which a person purposefully delays sleep without having any external reasons that compel them to do so. 

While initially associated with a lack of self-discipline, the phenomenon re-emerged with its 2.0 version – revenge bedtime procrastination – on the Chinese Internet around 2016.

Today, it’s supposed to be a revolutionary process for the modern-day workforce. It means resisting the urge to sleep early and having a healthy sleep routine to seize the freedom of night. Most people working jobs don’t have the luxury of getting some much-needed ‘me time’ after spending the whole day in the office. Therefore, going to sleep early feels wasteful to them.

Therefore, revenge bedtime procrastination is like compensation for their powerlessness and frustrations. Using night hours to maximize their ‘me time’ is an act of complete resistance. It means they are stealing their time from the monotonous routines they are supposed to be stuck in. 

Signs Of Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

To be a part of the trend, your bedtime habits must include ‘suffering through the night miserably as an act of resistance, without any obvious benefits.’ Apart from this, your actions must satisfy the following conditions. 

  • Your actions should reduce your sleep time considerably,
  • They should not be attached to external reasons (like being up for taking care of your child), and
  • You must be aware of the adverse effects of not sleeping on time.

Read more: Discovering The Best Apps For Sleep Sounds For Quality Rest

So Is The Whole Trend Bad For You?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting extra me-time for yourself at the end of your tiring workday. However, the issue arises when you overindulge in the revenge part. There is nothing problematic in the idea of taking back the charge of your life. But doing it at the expense of your sleep might not be the best way forward in the long term.

Here’s the actual deal: as mentioned above, your revenge bedtime procrastination significantly affects your sleeping time. An average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep, as per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). So, you add to your sleep debt when you don’t sleep on time.

Sleep debt is the amount of time you should have spent minus the amount of sleep you actually got. As this debt increases, so does the level of sleep deprivation. This can mess with your cognitive functioning, heart health, and immune system, making you more prone to accidents. 

So, How Do You Deal With Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?

If you are someone who’s voluntarily denying yourself sleep to reclaim your life, the traditional advice of ‘sleep on time’ will not work for you. Therefore, it’s important to understand where your frustrations stem from and what’s prompting you to indulge in such behaviors. Once that part is sorted, here are a few things you can do to deal with revenge bedtime procrastination.

1. Understand your limits.

Your procrastination is probably a result of your tendency to do more than you usually can. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that you are a human and have just 24 hours on your plate each day. So, don’t try to get everything done at the same time. Prioritize your tasks and design your to-do list to give yourself significant time to rewind. 

2. Find healthy nighttime activities.

If you are tempted to indulge in procrastination, try to make the whole process as easy-going and calming as possible. So, swap your Netflix binges with novels and ditch alcohol for something that doesn’t necessarily affect your sleep. Make sure you choose a healthy and rejuvenating activity rather than a taxing one. 

Read more: Do The Best Sleeping Hacks To Fall Asleep Faster Work?


Revenge bedtime procrastination is the newest Internet term that aims to help you reclaim your life from the hunches of corporate hustle culture. However, it can significantly affect your sleep time and lead to multiple negative consequences on your health in the long term.

Therefore, understanding where your frustrations stem from is the real deal. Additionally, you can try reworking your to-do lists and indulging in healthy and relaxing nighttime activities. 

Wondering why are sleep and rest so important for your body? Click here to find out.

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