You know how it goes: you spend all day working, running around after kids, and somehow moving and talking to other people about what they need from you. You’re EXHAUSTED and you know the best thing to do would be to climb into bed to maximise rest so you can do it all again tomorrow.
But you find yourself watching an entire season of Schitt’s Creek, scrolling through endless outfits online that you don’t need and will probably never buy, and catching up on what your cousin’s ex-wife has been sharing on Instagram since she walked out on him last Christmas.
That peace and quiet we find so irresistible at the end of the day after the children have gone to bed and the house is finally still has been around forever, but now it has a name (because of course it does): revenge sleep procrastination.
It’s called that, apparently, because it’s us “getting back at” our busy days. Yeah, that’ll teach ‘em!
Stuff that wasn’t important before suddenly becomes compelling and urgent, or we find ourselves unable to stop the online surfing because just five more minutes of this perfect stillness is so good for our soul.
The thing is, we feel rubbish the next morning and spend the next day regretting the entire incident…until the next night. Even children have it – my eight-year-old told me the other day that even when she feels super sleepy on the couch, as soon as she goes to bed, she’s wide awake and wants to stay up for hours. (Please don’t, darling one.)
It’s a vicious cycle and although it’s hard to get off, it’s important to your physical and emotional state to get it done because, duh, sleep is a building block for everything else in our lives.
So how do we make that change? Well, there are two actions you can take that are going to help:
- Create a new bedtime routine where you wind down gradually – that means turning off devices and doing something relaxing like having a warm cup of sleepytime tea or reading a book.
- Find time for yourself in your busy day so you don’t feel so monumentally ripped off every evening. And yes, I know that can be hard, but it’s not impossible.
And if you find yourself mindlessly scrolling at 12pm? Give yourself a smile and a mental hug, and don’t beat yourself up. Then put the phone down and go to bed and try again tomorrow. You’ll be tired and it will be SO TEMPTING to do it again, but try to give yourself what you need.
We’re all a work in progress, and we’re doing our best – but it helps if you try to help yourself.