When rising reports of sleep deprivation began to appear at the height of lockdown initiatives, many struggled to locate the logic.
With a surplus of time and a scarcity of recreational outlets, internal unrest hasn’t letup. In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic (among other things) seems to have compounded psychological correlates associated with poor sleep quality.
Many of these psychological correlates can be neatly ordered under a term recently introduced to the mainstream thanks to a journalist and editor by the name of Daphne K. Lee. Lee writes:
“Learned a very relatable term today: “報復性熬夜” (revenge bedtime procrastination), a phenomenon in which people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late night hours.”
The medical community essentially defines the condition as failing to go to sleep at an intended time, even though there are no external circumstances preventing one from doing so.
This idea of psychological revenge attends more activities than sleep. Revenge spending and revenge tourism are similar afflictions characterized by a perceived failure to make use of time in light of coronavirus-related restrictions.
In the case of revenge sleep procrastination specifically, sufferers are halved between wanting to feel like they’ve earned their sleep and wanting to maximize every hour of every day.
It’s at once an understandable position and an unhealthy one; established plainly by the irony of sleep deprivation’s role in weakening our auto-immune response.
Despite a frozen economy, the coronavirus crisis demands a lot of our free time. In combination with stress induced by an unmoored job market and civil unrest, families have been sheltering together for more than five months with limited mobility.
In most scenarios, the late evening is the only window that thinks kindly of solace. To some, sleeping would be a wasted opportunity.
“The parent or caretaker who hasn’t had a moment to themself trying to jam in ‘me time’ into the day; the overworked employee that is on-call, can’t seem to stop checking their email or ‘turn off’; the stressed-out student who has had more ‘to-dos’ than wind down or social activities; the couple that works different shifts or long hours trying to fill the empty space; those with anxiety having their brain keep them up with ‘what if’s’; and people looking to escape.” psychotherapist Daryl Appleton, C.A.G.S, LMHC, said in a release.
Mindfulness might be the most effective mitigating tool.
To regain a sense of control, those affected by revenge bedtime procrastination would do well to prioritize their time in correspondence with their needs.
At the start of each day, consider drafting a list of the things that you need to accomplish to feel fulfilled enough to allow yourself to rest at night guilt-free.
It’s important to remember that even if you fall short of the standards your yourself established, you should still try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
In other words, it’s a fallacy that sleep is either a privilege earned by prolific output or a penalty endured by a finite existence.
Sleep is a necessary biological function that influences every part of our anatomy,
“Clearly, we all need as much sleep as possible right now, so this whole business of exacting revenge on our busy daytime selves by staying up late isn’t healthy. One way to deal with this is by taking some personal time during the day, rather than at night — even if that means carving out a few minutes here and there rather than having one significant chunk of time,” Adjunct Professor of Ethics at Fordham University, Elizabeth Yuko explained.
You might be surprised to learn how far little pocket so personal attention goes.
National instability has encouraged a certain patriotic solidarity between families, friends, communities, and even strangers. This is a net positive that should be extended inwardly as well.
“When everything you do is about someone else’s needs, it might sometimes feel worth it to sacrifice some sleep,” Clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus PsyD explained. “The sound of silence is a beautiful thing. No boss, no kids, no interruptions.”