What is vigilance for revenge and why is it bad for your health?

Have you heard about the vigilance for revenge? No, it does not have to do with a love spite, but with the postponement of bedtime, to be able to enjoy some time of relaxation. Keep reading and discover more.

Last update: December 18, 2021

The wakefulness for revenge, also called “procrastination at bedtime”, is a phenomenon that occurs in contemporary times. Fundamentally, It is due to saturation or overwork and the consequent decrease in enjoyment time.

The consequence of this is that, when night falls, some people decide to “steal” a few minutes, even hours of sleep, to “get even” and to be able to do something that is to your liking.

Of course, vigilance for revenge could affect rest and general health. In this article we tell you what this practice consists of, how it manifests itself, what its causes and consequences are, and what to do to deal with this problem.

What is vigilance for revenge?

The wakefulness with revenge consists of the self-sabotage of the rest to enjoy a hobby.

Various studies warn that the lack of adequate rest threatens to become a global epidemic, with all the consequences that this entails. In this sense, it is estimated that one in four people do not sleep well.

Common sleep disorders include insomnia (conciliation or maintenance), as well as parasomnias, including night terrors, sleepwalking, sleepwalking, bed-wetting, bruxism, restless legs syndrome, and more. .

However, there are various factors that threaten or disturb sleep: caffeine, stress, alcohol, age, being overworked or working irregular hours. To these has been added one more: the vigilance for revenge, also called “procrastination at bedtime.”

It is a particular phenomenon of contemporaneity in which the person himself self-sabotages his rest by deciding not to go to bed at bedtime. Instead, he engages in other activities to get even for not being able to enjoy leisure time during the day.

The concept of procrastination at bedtime was first used in research conducted in 2014. Later, the form “wake up for revenge” became popular due to a social media post by Chinese journalist Daphne K. Lee.

In a way, people who decide to wake up for revenge do so as a way to regain a little freedom and exercise control over the only time they have. Many of them often have absorbing jobs, which occupy most of the day.

How does it manifest?

This procrastination is exercised in various ways; but nevertheless, the most frequent modality involves the use of electronic devices. Make purchases online, check social media accounts, chat on WhatsApp, watch series, either on television or on platforms streaming… Are some of the activities that are most practiced during this time.

However, the fact that staying up late one day doesn’t necessarily mean a wake-up call for revenge. A person might have to stay awake because of a college assignment that they were unable to complete during the day due to work; And that is not revenge, but necessity.

In particular, researchers consider that this form of procrastination generally involves:

  • A deliberate delay in bedtime with the consequent reduction in total sleep time.
  • That there is no valid reason to stay awake, such as caring for a sick person.
  • Have conscience that staying awake can have negative consequences, but still ignore the threat.

It is necessary to clarify that in the wakefulness for revenge, people do not necessarily suffer from an insomnia disorder. Actually many times they are sleepy and do want to sleep; however, they decide to postpone the time to do it to be able to take it out a bit.

Causes of vigilance for revenge?

Obviously, the lack of free time during the day is the main reason for this feeling of spite. For parents with young children, the last hours of the night may be the only time alone.

Further, people who work extended hours (9, 12 and even 14 hours) have little unstructured time. This happens a lot with teleworking, where the line that separates work from being at home becomes blurred, which ends up affecting health.

On the other hand, a 2016 study revealed that there is a negative correlation between sleep procrastination and self-regulation. That is, more than a decision not to do it, people who exhibit this behavior want to sleep, but they do not align with their intentions. Of course, there are still other reasons:

  • avoidance: when sleeping, there may be a need to avoid thinking about problems, so various sources of distraction are sought;
  • addiction to technologies or social networks;
  • natural sleep patterns: night owls they are usually most active at night.

In general, experts consider that vigilance for revenge may be the result of an interaction between several factors, including the aforementioned and some more.

Who does it affect?

The vigilance for revenge is something in which anyone can get involved from time to time: flirting by chat with someone, watching an episode of the favorite series or a game of the favorite team … However, the behavior can take hold and become a bad habit.

In a survey, it was found that wakefulness for revenge is more common in women than in men. Also, students and people who do not have a fixed-hour job are more likely to procrastinate at bedtime.

Now, the behavior seems to tend to decline with age. According to a study conducted in 2020, teens tend to be more procrastinating at bedtime to watch videos, listen to music or chat.

Also, it is possible that people who procrastinate in general are more likely to put off bedtime too. However, they would not do this in favor of academic or homework, or other obligations, but rather for activities that offer enjoyment.

Consequences of wakefulness for revenge

Fatigue is just one of the consequences of vigilance for revenge.

Staying up late one night a week, watching a show or going to a party, is not going to have a major impact on sleep, health, or overall well-being. The problem begins when the vigilance for revenge becomes recurrent and affects the quantity and quality of rest.

Therefore, the consequences of procrastination at bedtime are the same as those of sleep deprivation. Immediate-onset symptoms include daytime sleepiness and fatigue, poor coordination, and the ability to maneuver.

In the long term, lack of rest affects the brain, specifically cognitive abilities, memory, and the ability to concentrate. From an emotional point of view, lack of sleep is related to stress, anxiety, irritability and other difficulties to manage the emotions that affect work, family, social and personal relationships.

And if that was not enough, physical health is affected by making such people more susceptible to metabolic disorders and cardiovascular problems. Thus, studies have linked poor sleep to weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes; and with the increased risk of heart attack, heart failure or stroke, and even decreased sexual desire.

How to deal with being vigilant for revenge

You have to break the cycle of procrastination in daily life and, especially, at bedtime to try to regain sleep and get a good rest. For these purposes, you can take into account the following recommendations.

Avoid what keeps you awake

It may sound like gibberish, but the fact that, despite being tired, you can stay awake, means that something helps you. Chocolate, caffeine, heavy dinners, vigorous exercise – avoid these things. Thus, it is more likely that at bedtime you feel sleepy and simply go to bed, putting aside the desire for revenge.

Relaxing activities

In the same vein, you can and you should try, before sleeping, activities that are rather relaxing and not others that put you in a state of alert and help you stay awake longer. Do you like online games? Play chess. It is quieter.

Find free time at other times

If you are a person who teleworks intensely, try changing the schedule of entertainment activities. Maybe you can get some rest and do something relaxing at two in the afternoon. Thus, you will not have to sacrifice hours of sleep and you will even feel that the workday is less heavy.

Rearrange work

If the problem has to do with the number of hours you work in the day, looks for a way to place some activities at other times, like for example Saturday. Perhaps it is better to sacrifice a Saturday morning than hours of sleep every day. That way, you’ll be free a little earlier in the workweek to do what you love.

Schedule entertainment

If, for example, there is a series that only airs on Wednesdays, that will be the day of the series and you will not review the social media accounts, which you can leave for Tuesday or Thursday. Similarly, if the content is on a platform streaming, schedule yourself: on Mondays one chapter, on Tuesday, another; you don’t have to see them all on the same day. They will continue there.

Review your nightly routines

Perhaps after work you are doing some tasks that you could perfectly do at another time, so you also start with your entertainment activities later. If you take the dog out at eight at night, maybe you could do it early in the morning; so, you have a few more minutes.

Seek help

If, ultimately, you find it very difficult to break the circle and continue the trend of vigilance for revenge, you can go to therapy or support groups. It doesn’t even hurt to go to the doctor. Maybe an undetected health problem is robbing you of sleep.

The balance between rest and enjoyment

If you are between staying up to watch another episode or sleeping, sleep should be a priority because sleep is also health. It is true that often work and other activities take away time that you feel is ours and that can annoy you. However, depriving yourself of rest is not the best form of revenge.

And it is that, just as they say that hatred does not harm the object of hatred, but the one who experiences it, in the same way the vigilance for revenge ends up being the knife to the own throat. Thinking about getting even in this way is something you do at the expense of your own health.

As in many other things, the key to enjoying time is quality, not quantity. If you have the opportunity to do what you like the most, value those moments and put aside those feelings that life or work is taking something away from you.

Finally, remember that the greatest virtue is temperance: the quality of doing things in moderation. If you spend many hours in what you like, it may saturate you; very surely you will be more tired and you will get sick. But if you proceed in moderation, you will have more days to live and enjoy healthily.

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