Stay Up Too Late? Are you Suffering from Revenge Sleep Procrastination? Or is it Tomorrow Dread?
There is validity to the concept of Revenge Sleep Procrastination, thought to be coined by journalist Daphne K. Lee in 2018 as when “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.” We often spend all day taking care of work, family and /or home and, by bedtime, all we want to do is take some time to do something we enjoy. For ADHDers, we may be working twice as hard to keep it together all day and crave the time to do something easy. For many, technology in the form of games or social media can provide the dopamine hits we crave while giving our cognition a break. For others, it’s reading, working on a hobby or doing whatever they enjoy.
But what if the difficulty ‘putting oneself to sleep’ is less about the day one just had and more about dread of tomorrow? For people whose days are self-directed, who work or provide care for family at home, or have challenging professions in which they have autonomy, every day may present decision-making and prioritization. If one is working on a project, the task can feel overwhelming. Anticipating the day can create stress and dread. Going to sleep means that tomorrow will be here soon. As one woman with ADHD commented: “When I close my eyes to go to sleep, the next thing is morning.”
If you think you may be staying up past your bedtime due to Tomorrow Dread, here are some suggestions:
By recognizing a lack of clarity about tomorrow and creating a plan about what the day will look like, it may be easier to welcome the morning and say goodnight to your day.
Debbie Tracht is an ADHD Coach who works with adults in her Vermont community as well as via online formats.