1: SLEEP SCHEDULES
A lot of us use the weekends and vacation time to catch up on sleep. It turns out that this habit is ineffective, and can even be harmful. In the book “Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours”, sleep coach Nick Littlehales discusses how waking up at the same time each day is the proper way to recharge your body each day.
While sleeping in may help you feel better rested, the effects are usually temporary. Further, this technique can backfire when it’s time for bed.
Here’s why: our bodies have an internal 24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm, that dictate when we’re drowsy and wide-awake. It’s based on the earth’s cycle of sunlight and darkness. So, when it’s daylight, we’re likely to feel awake, and when it’s dark, our bodies send signals and release melatonin, indicating that it’s time for bed.
If we’ve deprived ourselves of shuteye during the week, it’s tempting to snooze in on a day off. But, doing this throws off our internal clock, so it can be more difficult to fall asleep that night. When that happens, we get less sleep, and when the alarm goes off the next morning, the cycle of feeling like we haven’t gotten enough sleep perpetually continues.
Over time, this cycle of sleep deprivation combined with trying to catch up leads to an increased risk of health challenges, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and can even cause type 2 diabetes.
The solution is to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. It may seem like getting up early on your day off will be extra challenging, but you’ll notice after a couple of weeks of trying this bedtime hack that you feel better rested.
From Sleep Advisor.