Dealing With Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

How to confront the gatekeeper of your conscious and unconscious self.

Sean Kernan

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Sleep is a torturous affair for many of us. We want to stay awake when we’re awake, and stay asleep when we’re asleep. It is that pesky transition that gets us, that stubborn gatekeeper between both realms of consciousness that urges us to stay.

In college, I saw sleep as a disruptive event, a treachery against fun and I put it off as long as possible. This, despite having a full class load and grueling training schedule on the swim team.

The consequences to my health were fairly immediate. I’ve never been more tired than I was at this time in my life. It got so bad that during class, I figured out a pose where I rested my forehead on my hand and had a pencil the other so that it looked like I was working, even though my eyes were closed, as I wandered magical fields with purple goats and talking trees. My body broke down. I became moody and snappy. My grades plummeted. I swam slower and became forgetful.

Six weeks into this foolish experiment, I returned to a normal sleep schedule — and was amazed as my quality of life soared upwards. Every important touchpoint in my life improved.

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Sean Kernan

Writer and writing instructor. Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.