Why it happens and how to put a stop to it!
Revenge Mom Hours
Revenge mom hours or bedtime procrastination: Here is a scenario-You have had a long day! Between tending to your kids, work, and relationships and making sure your environment reflects the queen that you are, you are exhausted, finished not to be revived!
But! Sleep is the last activity you want to engage in. Why is that?
You, mama, are smack bang in the middle of a mommy pandemic known as revenge mom hours. Or more formally known as Revenge Bedtime Procrastination.
What is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?
Sleep Foundation defines revenge bedtime procrastination as, “the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time that is driven by a daily schedule lacking in free time.”
Women and students are most likely to suffer from this. In our case, moms are the bread and butter of this phenomenon. And using the Sleep Foundation’s definition, it comes as no surprise.
Why it Happens?
Why do revenge mom hours happen? Simply put, we want to avenge the daytime. We spend the majority of our daytime hours tending to others. This can be work, children, family, creative projects and the list can continue into perpetual eternity!
When nighttime creeps in and the children are in bed, the house is in some order and the night is quiet. We take a deep sigh and all our tense muscles from the day, relax. This is the first piece of silence we may have had all day. It is nice here, so we want to stay a little longer. And we want to catch up with all that went down on social media, and we want to finally take a bite of that chocolate we have been hiding behind the broccoli in the fridge, except the bite turns into the entire slab, in less time than it takes to finish an episode of Working Moms. I am not judging, I am we.
And so we stay in this piece of heaven, where no one demands anything of us. Then we look up at it is 2 am!
The Dangers of Revenge Mom Hours
The biggest danger of revenge mom hours is to our health. In the short term it makes us:
- Sleepier during the day
- Crave food that is high in sugar or salt
- Affects our brain’s ability to process information.
The long-term effects of chronic sleep deprivation include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack/ heart failure
- Lower sex-drive
- More wrinkles/appearance
- Obesity and more
How to Break Revenge Mom Hours Cycle
It definitely takes intention. When I first realised I was in the RMH (revenge mom hours) cycle, I was reluctant to give up the only time I have to myself. But, when it started to truly affect the way I showed up during the day, I knew something had to give.
And so, I started small. These are things you can consider tweaking to help you gain control of your daytime and nighttime life.
Sleep 30 minutes earlier
As a baby step, I set my phone to turn off 30 minutes before I need to go to bed. When that screen turns grey, it triggers me to think about what ignoring this will mean for me the next day.
At first, I would get to bed and just stare at the ceiling. I committed to staying in bed and used the time to run through my affirmations until I passed out.
After about a week, move the time to 45 minutes earlier, until you get to at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
It is a little tough but not impossible. I get 7 hours some nights, on most nights I am still only getting 61/2 but I will get there. And so can you.
Create a nighttime routine
How well you feel going to bed has an impact on how you manage the next day. An evening routine doesn’t get half the attention a morning routine gets, but they are equally so important.
My evening routine (on most nights), includes a brain dump- this is where I write down all the thoughts swirling around my head and the things I found annoying throughout the day.
Then I turn to my gratitude journal, I write down all I am grateful for. This practice makes me feel light and eager to go to bed so I can have another day to write about.
Your evening routine doesn’t have to look like mine, you need to find something that gently winds you down and puts you in a good mood before bed. Preferably not screen as it is known to badly affect your chances of a good night’s sleep.
Tell Your Children
What do kids love more than a fun time? Telling their parents what to do!
I told my kids about my desire to sleep earlier and boy do they keep me accountable. Sometimes it is a little annoying but it is necessary.
We teach children to be true to their word. We also want them to grow into adults who can follow through on their goals, so what better way to teach than by example?
Yes, this puts you in a corner and that is exactly where you want to be if you want to live a life you feel in control of. You want to be in a corner if you want to ward off the long-term effects of chronic sleep deprivation. It is up to you, mama.
What has changed for me?
Since ditching the nighttime revenge hours and moving them to the morning, as my M.I.T (Mom Inner Time), the following has changed:
- I have enough energy to get through my days
- I am calmer with my children (there are still crazy days but we take what we can get, okay?)
- I am happier
- My skin is starting to glow again.
I now understand that as a mother, there is always one more thing to do, ALWAYS! So the job is never done! And the story I tell myself now is, that if nobody died or will die, it can wait until tomorrow because ” it’s bedtime now.” And I hope you can start telling yourself that too and go to bed.
If you found this helpful and know one other mama who will be helped by reading this, please share this post with her.
And share in the comments when you will start adding hours to your sleep.