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By John Broetje | Beds 101, Blog | Dec 11, 2015
Monday to Friday, you wake up early for work to keep on top of deadlines and stay up late to enjoy social engagements – or finish your chores. By the end of the week, all you want to do is sleep in. Late. You snooze a few extra hours on Saturday morning to stay out late that night, head to bed early on Sunday and start the sleep cycle all over. Or should we say lack of sleep cycle? There’s nothing wrong with making up sleep time on the weekends, is there?
To regulate your sleep schedule successfully, you need to understand two important sleep concepts – sleep drive and internal circadian biological clocks.
Sleep drive is similar to the gas light on your car’s dashboard – it alerts your body when it needs to sleep. The longer you’re awake, the more your body needs sleep. Likewise, your need to sleep dissipates when you’re snoozing away at night. You wake up with a full tank and as you go through your day, your tank slowly empties until there’s nothing left and your body demands sleep. When you finally give into slumber, your tank gradually fills again, allowing you to wake up well rested with an full tank once again
Your circadian clock regulates the timing of alertness and sleepiness throughout the day, rising and falling at different times. The strongest sleep drive (need for sleep) for adults usually occurs between the hours of 2 am to 4 am and during that afternoon rough sluggish patch, between 1 pm and 3 pm. The feeling of grogginess you experience during these times will feel less intense when you’ve had an adequate amount of sleep, and more powerful when you’re sleep deprived.
After a week of early mornings and late nights, our natural reaction is to crave more sleep on the weekends. While extra shut eye on Saturday and Sunday mornings feel good (and a happy habit we’ve held onto since our teenager years), it throws off the upcoming week. Sleeping in late disrupts the balance between our sleep drive and circadian clock, which can result in disrupted sleep, causing crankiness, grogginess and worse, possible depression. Yikes.
Busy weekends can leave us feeling unprepared for our week ahead. Going to bed early on Sunday makes sense right? Unfortunately, this probably won’t work. Staying up late and sleeping in through the weekend, combined with thoughts of a stressful upcoming week can cause “sleep onset insomnia.” With your sleep drive and circadian clock thrown off, your body is simply not ready to sleep. Read More: PBS
What’s the alternative? Walking around like sleepless zombies? Of course not. The solution (that we wish was the solution to every problem) is to take a nap!
During the work week, napping can seem like an unobtainable gift from the sleep fairy. But if you can sneak one in, it’s a great way replenish energy. On the weekends try to eliminate the concept of sleeping in late, wake up at your normal time and replace that snooze time with an afternoon nap. As with all things sleep, balance is essential. Without causing a disruption in your natural pattern, there are 3 optimal nap times; 20 min, 60 min and 90 min naps.
Struggling to balance your sleep during the week and on the weekends? Feel free to steal these tips help you enjoy your life, get your work done AND optimize your sleep.
Article Source: Restonic Mattress Co.
This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on mattressdepotusa.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.