You want to get your home organized, but your motivation is just not there. Could it be because you’re procrastinating going to bed on time? Think about it… you’ve had a really busy day. Would you prefer to stay up for some relaxing time watching Netflix or scrolling through TikTok videos on your phone rather than going to bed at a reasonable hour? This exhausting habit is known as “revenge bedtime procrastination”. The reason it’s called “revenge” is because you’re getting revenge for all the hard work you put in all day.
Why it happens
If you’re putting sleep to the side so that you can have more leisurely time, you’re probably looking to relieve the stress of a busy day. But what if your day wasn’t busy? You may not be physically active all day, but your mind has probably been busy worrying or “should-ing”. Some people procrastinate going to bed on time because they procrastinate on most things in their life. People with ADHD often have difficulty with self-regulation, impulsivity, hyper-focus, dopamine-seeking behavior, and problems with transitions from one activity to another. Sometimes people procrastinate going to bed because they want to avoid rumination. They know they won’t be able to fall asleep right away, and don’t want to lay in bed thinking about their worries or replays. And of course, many people with ADHD suffer from time-blindness, so they don’t know when to stop what they’re doing to go to bed. Incorrect dosage or timing of ADHD medication can also keep people up at night.
What are the consequences
Sacrificing your sleep causes all kinds of issues, especially for those who already have underlying executive functioning disorders. It becomes even harder to think quickly, pay attention, remember things, make decisions, and mitigate stress and anxiety. For people with executive functioning disorders, it’s already hard to do these things! When adults get less than 7-9 hours of sleep per night, they are at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, a weakened immune system, hormone-related issues, pain, depression, and anxiety. A lack of sleep is also really hard on relationships, because people are short-tempered when they don’t get enough sleep. They also don’t have the energy to go out and do the things they love to do, or the stamina to accomplish their long-term goals. On-the-job performance dwindles, and this turns into a vicious cycle. Sleep procrastination generates a ton of shame, which certainly is not good for self-esteem. When people are behind in their sleep, they definitely don’t have the physical, mental, and emotional resources to get their homes organized, that’s for sure!
Tips for getting more sleep
- Measure the sleep you’re actually getting. This will help give you a baseline for where you’re at. Even if you look at the clock when you go to bed and when you wake up, that might not be giving you an accurate metric for how much sleep you’re actually getting. Use a device such as an Oura Ring or Apple Watch to see how much time you’re spending in bed versus how much you’re sleeping.
- If you’re caught up in the caffeine-alcohol-sugar loop, it makes it really hard to get quality sleep. Breaking this habit isn’t easy for everyone though! Experiment with taking a break for 3 or more days to see if it helps your sleep patterns. Instead of focusing on “not” using those energy crutches, focus on drinking extra water. Use tasty electrolytes (I love the lemonade flavored Ultima) to help your taste buds crave more water. Want to take it up a notch and make everything way easier?? Try adding Athletic Greens to your water first thing in the morning. Mix the superfood powder into 8oz of room temperature water and swig it back. The nutrients in this drink will help melt away cravings and will give you a ton of natural energy. Make sure to drink your water earlier in the day, and refrain from drinking too much within 2 hours of bedtime, or else you’ll be up all the time to go potty.
- Brush your teeth, wash your face, and get into your jammies before you get too tired. Sometimes people procrastinate going to bed on time because they don’t have the energy to do the things they need to do to go to bed.
- Wear earplugs and an eye mask to help you get better quality sleep, especially if you live in an apartment or with other people/animals who like to make noises at night. There are so many different kinds of earplugs and eye masks on the market. Don’t be afraid to try a few different kinds before you find what you really like.
- Use calming crystals such as celestite, amethyst, rose quartz, amber, and/or black tourmaline to help promote peaceful vibes in your bedroom.
- Ingest some flower essences such as the Bach Rescue Remedy or Rescue Sleep to help calm you down in the evenings. You can even get custom flower essences made for you by Erin Mullins.
- Do you like scented things? Pairing a new habit with a desirable scent makes it easier to help reinforce those new neural pathways. Some essential oils have benefits that will help promote sleep as well. Many people recommend using lavender oil to aid in sleep, but for other people, it keeps them awake. Try a few different ones to see what works for you. Peppermint and orange oil are two that I know help me catch some major zzz’s. If you have pets, don’t diffuse the oils in the same room as the animals. Use them topically on your own skin, or diffuse in the bathroom while you’re getting prepped for bed. While some aromatherapists suggest that some essential oils have healing benefits for pets, not all pets benefit from the oils. If you notice your pets are getting agitated or itchy, definitely discontinue using them.
- Practice good sleep hygiene such as engaging in a bedtime routine, going to bed at the same time every day (even on weekends). Set a reminder to get ready for bed. Avoid screens. Avoid naps during the day. Exercise earlier in the day. Don’t eat a big meal before going to bed. All that good stuff!
- Last but not least is to prioritize yourself! Don’t give your energy to everyone else all day, only to feel like you need to work overtime to do anything for yourself.
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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