Sleep & Mornings

Battling Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: How I Stopped Losing Sleep

Intermittent fasting, accountability buddies, and go-to-bed alarms — revenge bedtime procrastination is no match for ADDitude readers’ creative solutions to ending the cycle of sleeplessness.  

A woman suffering from insomnia uses her cell phone in bed, dark silent bedroom
A woman using her cell phone in bed, in a dark room

ADHD brains buzz and ruminate in quiet homes after dark, when many of us are also prone to revenge bedtime procrastination — delaying sleep in favor of “me time” activities such as Netflix binges, Wordle games, or TikTok scrolls. These late-night activities may deliver a quick dopamine fix, but the long-term effects often include guilt, exhaustion, and health issues.

So how do we break the cycle of revenge bedtime procrastination to get a good night’s sleep? We asked ADDitude readers to share their successful sleep strategies, and we’ve highlighted some of our favorites below.

Do you have any brilliant shut-eye solutions? Share your tips in the Comments section below.

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination Solutions

“I recently started intermittent fasting as a management practice. A side effect of no longer eating past 8 p.m. is that I am less motivated to stay up late. Who wants to just hang out on the couch without snacks or a glass of wine?!” — Anonymous

“I utilize the ‘downtime’ feature on my phone to block distracting apps< (Hint: If you’re tempted to turn downtime off, have a trusted friend set the password so you can’t!). Tracking what time I go to bed and showing it to an accountability buddy helps me stay focused on my sleep goals. Another reinforcing factor is that I feel so much better when I go to sleep early and wake up early. I’m less sad, more productive, and most importantly because I’m getting more work done, I can incorporate ‘me time’ into my day without feeling like I’m shirking responsibility.” — Anonymous

[Free Download: How to Sleep Better with ADHD]

“I ultimately accepted that sleep hygiene was more important than late-night ‘me time.’ Now I plan some alone time during my morning walk with my dogs, and I created a workout room that only I use.” — Anonymous

“I’ve broken this cycle by deleting social media. I refuse to re-download it. I would spend close to seven hours a day on TikTok!” — Anonymous

“I broke the revenge bedtime procrastination cycle, but sometimes I slip into old habits. So, I gave myself a reframe: ‘My best tomorrow starts at bedtime tonight.’” — Anonymous

“I replaced screen time with an enjoyable wind-down routine consisting of a cup of tea and stretching.” — Anonymous

“What helped me break the cycle was finding the source of my procrastination. While in college, I stayed up late to finish homework or chill and watch TV. I got myself out of those habits by forcing myself to make a list and schedule for my day, including time to watch TV or hang out. Breaking the cycle comes down to finding what’s feeding it, cutting it at the source, implementing self-discipline, and creating a meaningful reason for doing it.” — Anonymous

[Read: How to Fall Asleep with a Rowdy, Racing ADHD Brain]

Make yourself accountable. I started working out at 6 a.m. and signed up for classes at my gym. I need to be accountable to be there. Now, I go to bed at 8:30 p.m. and wake up at 5 a.m.” — Anonymous

“My husband helped me break the habit. He insisted that I go to bed at a normal time and explained why staying up late is such a bad habit. I also want a nice quality of life, and I’ve read too many articles that say lack of sleep leads to disease or even early death.” — Anonymous

“I set a ‘go-to-bed’ alarm about 30 minutes before I want to be in bed.” — Anonymous

Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: Next Steps

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