World Sleep Day: How to Avoid ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’

Friday, March 19, 2021

Workers should be mindful to avoid potentially damaging their sleep patterns and overall health through ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination,’ an unhealthy habit that has become more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, advises Baines Simmons, specialists in aviation safety and fatigue risk management (part of Air Partner) on World Sleep Day 2021.

Originating in China where it is common to work 12-hour days six days a week, the term ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’ describes the phenomenon in which people who work long hours sacrifice sleep in order to create personal time for themselves, staying up late online, reading news, watching videos or whichever activity they feel counts as personal time.

With recent research finding that the typical UK home worker is working two hours a day more than before the coronavirus crisis began, Baines Simmons is concerned that  employees are more likely to fall into the habit of ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination'. This may result in workers not managing to meet their sleep need (seven to nine hours for most people) every night to ensure optimal health, quality of life and productivity.

Those who work long hours and who are also parents or carers are at particular risk, as they often have such limited time for themselves.

In addition, Baines Simmons highlights that the feeling of being ‘always at work’ and your time not being your own is particularly challenging if you have access to work emails on either a work or personal phone, as it is difficult to draw boundaries between work and home.

Ian Holder, Managing Director at Baines Simmons, said: “For many people, their quality of sleep is already being negatively impacted from the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. It can be so easy to additionally fall into the habit of ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination,’ which can further restrict our sleep time and quality. While time away from the pressures of work is beneficial for wellbeing and for our ability to achieve good quality sleep, we should avoid this coming at the expense of sleep time. World Sleep Day is a reminder of just how important sleep is and the studies are clear: we need to meet our sleep need every night and for it to be good quality, to be at our optimum physical and mental health. We can cope on less, but that is all it is – coping, not thriving.”

Baines Simmons specialise in aviation regulations, compliance, safety management and fatigue risk management. With leading Fatigue Risk Management experts, the company offers training and consulting to assist safety critical industries to measure and understand fatigue risk, and to manage that risk through the implementation of fatigue risk management systems (FRMS). For further information see