If you deny yourself a good night's sleep to make time for yourself after a busy day, Sarah Barr has helpful advice to change the habit for the better.

Do you ever feel so busy during the day that you just run out of hours to do the things you actually want? Following to-do lists, running errands and finding yourself saying “there just isn’t enough hours in the day”. 

I know I do. 

But have you ever attempted to remedy this by denying yourself sleep to make time for those activities?

If you have answered yes, then you’ve participated in revenge bedtime procrastination.

This refers to the hours you spend putting off sleep so you can have a bit more time for yourself. You may find yourself binge-watching the latest show on Netflix, online shopping, catching up on work, aimlessly scrolling through social media or reading, instead of actually going to sleep. Whatever the activity is, the end result is delayed sleep.

Due to Covid-19 causing increased stress and changes in our normal routines, the idea of revenge bedtime procrastination has became more relatable to many of us. With many people stating they have noticed more sleep problems during the pandemic.

If you find yourself delaying going to sleep and not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, reflect and think, is there anything else you are avoiding in your life?

Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can interfere with your mental health. Increasing chances of depression and anxiety and impacting your overall focus, tolerance and mood.

A few ideas that may help:

• Rest time:

If possible try to schedule time, even 5/10 minutes throughout the day to pause and take a break.

• Check-in:

Set a reminder on your phone, a few times throughout the day, to remind yourself to check-in with how you are feeling.

Break your goals down:

Try not to put pressure on yourself to accomplish everything in one day; delegate, ask for help and move certain tasks to the following day.

And finally, make time for the things and people you appreciate the most.

Remember – you don’t need to have a mental health condition to benefit from seeing a counsellor. If you are feeling overwhelmed or finding it difficult to balance home and work, talking to a counsellor can help with:

  •  Learning relaxation strategies.
  •  Identifying sources of stress and develop tools to manage them.
  •  Thinking about potential changes in career that might offer a better work-life balance.
  •  Coping with any mental health symptoms you experience as a result of not getting enough sleep.

Take care, Sarah Barr.