We’ve all done it. After a long week of early rises and late nights scrolling through social media, your sleep routine can soon become imbalanced and, sure enough, we’re not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep we need to function properly. Then, we get to the weekend and think that we can just catch up on our sleep then, with a lovely long lie-in, right?
Unfortunately not. Whilst a weekend lie-in can feel great, it can actually do your sleeping pattern more harm than good and contrary to popular belief, you can’t actually catch up on lost sleep. Let’s take a look at why you should avoid a weekend lie-in and some handy sleep tips to help you improve your sleeping habits.
Why Don’t Weekend Lie-Ins Help You Catch Up On Lost Sleep?
When it comes to sleep, you should focus on quality rather than quantity. Our sleep happens in cycles, usually about 90 minutes, and these cycles are reliant on our internal body clocks (circadian rhythms) which are in control of letting your body know when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep. Modern life, thanks to extended screen time, stressful jobs and longer days, can wreak havoc on our natural circadian rhythms and is one of the reasons why we struggle to get a quality night’s sleep during the week, when we are at our busiest.
When the weekend comes around, we’re all ready to wind down and relax and this is where many of us think that we can indulge in a late lie-in to allow our bodies to catch up on the missed sleep from the week before. But, sleeping for anything over 30 minutes past the point where your body naturally wakes up will just cause you to feel tired and sluggish. Although these extra 30 minutes can give you a bit of an energy boost, your body won’t enter an additional cycle of sleep, so it shouldn’t be a substitute for a good night’s sleep.
How To Improve Your Sleeping Habits
People often use naps and lie-ins as a way of catching up on insufficient sleep, but this can just cause your sleep routine to be even more out of sync. Instead, you should focus on improving your sleeping schedule and adopting good habits to promote better sleep every day of the week.
Upgrade Your Bed
If you wake up feeling achy and tired, then your mattress could be the reason behind a poor night’s sleep. It is recommended that you change your mattress every 8-10 years, so if it’s been a while since you last got a new mattress, it might be time to invest. As well as your mattress, it might be time to improve your bedding. If you’re sleeping with a duvet that’s too warm in the summer and you feel cold during the winter, then you might need to get a more suitable tog duvet. Soft cotton duvet cover sets are best suited for summer months, as the light and breathable fabric helps to keep you cool and regulate your temperature, whilst flannel bedding is best for the winter. Invest in some quality fitted bed sheets and get some nice new pillows and you’re ready to go!
Get An Eye Mask
If you struggle to sleep when even the smallest bit of light is in the room, then your sleeping habits will likely be regularly disrupted. Get a soft cotton eye mask to wear whilst you sleep to keep any light disturbance out, or invest in Space Masks – a heated, lavender-scented eye mask that you put on before you fall asleep – to feel more related whilst trying to sleep.
Invest In A Noise Machine
A lot of people struggle to sleep well if they live in a shared home where people are up throughout the night, or struggle to switch off if they focus on the sound of silence itself. A white noise machine emits soothing, natural sounds such as rainfall or waves to help us relax into a better night’s sleep. You can either invest in a noise machine or use a free app or Youtube videos on your phone.