Imagine lying in your cozy warm bed all wrapped up in a nice warm blanket. Perhaps you’re snuggled up to your partner or maybe it’s your dog. You never get to enjoy this pleasure during the week so you are milking this moment for all it’s worth. You may even sleep in for an extra few hours simply because it’s sooooo comfortable.
You’ve just sealed your fate and have almost GUARANTEED that you will be tired on Monday morning. But why? It makes way more sense to sleep in and catch up on that lack of sleep you’ve gotten during the week.
The problem with sleeping in late on weekends is that is decreases something called sleep drive or sleep pressure. That’s the cueing that your body gives you to tell you it’s time to close your eyes and go to sleep. The longer you are awake, the higher your sleep drive. Conversely, the shorter the period between sleep intervals, the lower your sleep drive will be.
By sleeping in on weekends you are shifting your circadian rhythm, so when it’s time to go to sleep at your normal time, you aren’t as tired. Compound that with a few racing thoughts about all the work you need to get done on Monday morning and it’s a recipe for disaster. The increase in your stress level may trigger other hormones like adrenaline or cortisol to inappropriately rise, which also make falling or staying asleep more difficult.
If you are tired every Monday morning and just can’t get your butt in gear, there’s still hope! Make sure you go to bed and get up at the same time every day (even on weekends) to keep a consistent sleep rhythm. If you need to “catch up” on sleep or want to go out and be more social, you can adjust your sleep by up to one hour in either direction without too much of a long-term impact on your sleep rhythm.
By having a consistent sleep schedule you’ll find those Monday morning blahs should melt away.
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