How to Avoid Messing Up Your Sleep Schedule on the Weekend

No matter how much sleep you get, it always seems like you need more. During your usual work day, coffee or an energy drink make it easy to get by without a lot of rest, but the serious impact of lost sleep on your health is something to be concerned about. After a long night out, you might suffer from what’s called “social jet-lag,” a term coined by Professor Till Roenneberg in 2006 to describe the mismatch between your biological clock and social life. Even though our biological clocks and the natural progression of our circadian rhythms are far better at telling us when to wake up, life inevitably gets in the way. We sacrifice sleep to hang out with friends, to get work done, to care for our children, etc. – and it comes at a cost. However, fixing your sleep schedule with these easy tips will guarantee a better night’s sleep and help you make sure that you always wake up refreshed on Monday.

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Workout before you go out.

Working out will get your blood pumping, temporarily energizing you after you exercise. The key is working out a couple hours before you go out because it’ll keep your energy levels up long enough to go out for a few drinks, but will ultimately tire your body out by the time you get home. This will make it easier for you to fall into a deeper sleep once your head hits your pillow, so your body can prepare for recovery after a night of alcohol. Your Sunday hangover will definitely be a thing of the past.

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Take a power nap.

During the week, a nap seems like all you want, especially with your early morning routine. It’s hard to not succumb to the desire of a three hour nap, but that’s when you mess up your sleep schedule drastically. When your naps become substitutes for sleep, that’s a sign that your body isn’t getting the rest it desperately needs and is trying to recuperate. To combat your fatigue, try taking a power nap by setting a 30-minute timer. The break will reinvigorate you, while the timer will keep you from snoozing the entire day away.

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Stick to a routine.

While it may be hard to commit to a consistent sleep schedule during the work week, it doesn’t hurt to strive for a stable bedtime. Avoid sleeping in for multiple hours on Saturday and Sunday, and instead allow yourself to sleep in for only an hour beyond your normal weekday wake time. This will make it simpler for your body to adjust come Monday. Not only that: establish a winding down routine such as reading a good book before bed, so you can calm your body to ready yourself for sleep. Sticking to a routine will dictate when your body expects to receive sleep and preps it for healing.

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Cut off caffeine after 2pm.

As much as you may love your late afternoon cup o’ joe, cutting off caffeine after 2pm will keep it from interfering with your circadian rhythms at night. This will prevent you from restlessly tossing and turning, which thwarts your usual sleep cycle and keeps it from entering REM sleep. Caffeine, while a great stimulant, is terrible when it works against you. So, sacrificing a little by only drinking in the morning, will actually benefit you way better in the long run.

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Get drinks only one night of the weekend.

As fun as it is to socialize and go out for a fun night, try limiting your alcohol consumption to either Saturday or Sunday. Going overboard on alcohol, such as continually drinking from Saturday to Sunday, can chronically worsen the quality of your sleep. A 2013 study published by the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research issue, found that alcohol significantly reduces REM sleep. This suppression of REM sleep makes you feel sluggish in the morning, leading to difficulties in concentration, attention span and memory. It’s infinitely better to keep track of your alcohol consumption, not only to sleep better but for your greater bodily well-being.

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Eat earlier, snack later.

Going out means we often consume heavy meals later at night, slowing our metabolism down. This makes you feel bloated and elevates your hunger for unhealthy food during the night. It also affects your circadian rhythms, since the high-fat, high-sugar foods up your insulin and then evolutionarily drive you to crave more sugar later on in the night. You’re upsetting your metabolic processes and impacting your sleep, so try eating full meals earlier and then snacking on something lighter if you get hungry later in the evening.

 

Get out in front of a jam-packed weekend by letting reBloom keep your sleep on track, no matter how much fun you’re working into your Saturday night. 

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