Sleeping In on the Weekends Could Actually Ruin Your Work Week
For some people, the weekend is spent trying to catch up on all the sleep they deprived themselves of throughout the course of the last week. Yet, while sleeping in can be somewhat of a godsend, new research finds that it might actually make you more tired throughout the week.
The reason for this? Researchers say that when people attempt to catch up on sleep over the weekend, all they are really doing is disrupting their body’s internal clock, making it more difficult for them to climb out of bed when Monday morning finally rolls around.
"A great myth of sleep deprivation is that if we miss sleep over the course of the work week, we need to catch up on an hour-by-hour basis on the weekend," said lead author Dr. Gregory Carter, a sleep medicine specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Study experts explain that sleeping in on weekends tampers with the daily cycles of the brain’s circadian clock, which can result in it being more difficult to get to sleep on Sunday night and excruciating to hear that alarm go off on Monday morning.
Carter advises that going to bed earlier is actually a better way to battle sleep deprivation than trying to do it by sleeping in, maintaining that any amount of sleep deprivation can be relieved by getting a solid eight hours of rest.
He says that keeping the internal clock in check is important. "To maintain our internal clock, we need to go to bed eight hours before our usual time for getting out of bed in the morning," said Carter.
Carter adds that staying up late on Friday and Saturday nights and sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday mornings, mixed liberally with things like alcohol and late night web surfing, has a way of making for one heck of a miserable Monday.