With the holidays in full swing, the age-old question: 'should we embrace the lazy days of oversleeping, or should we stick to our regular sleep routine?' might be on your mind. Picture this: no annoying alarm clock disrupting your beauty sleep, no nagging to get up, and no rush to get out of bed. Ah, the bliss of lazy-lounging mornings! But is there such a thing as too much sleep, even during holidays when we can finally indulge in some restful slumber?
The dark side of snoozing
While sleeping in sounds fantastic, it can also throw a spanner into our carefully crafted sleep schedule. Our bodies thrive on consistency, and oversleeping during holidays can lead to disruptions in our circadian rhythm, which dictates our sleep-wake cycle. Then when the holidays end and we return to our regular routines, our bodies can struggle to adjust, leading to that dreaded "Monday morning blues" even on a Wednesday!
Oversleeping can also have also an impact on our productivity. During the holidays, we might have grand plans to tick off numerous tasks, but oversleeping can eat into our precious daylight hours. Suddenly, that to-do list transforms into a mountain of unchecked items, leaving us feeling unaccomplished and frustrated.
Moreover, indulging in excessive sleep during holidays can lead to the so-called "sleep drunkenness." It's that feeling of grogginess and disorientation that persists even hours after waking up. This can put a dampener on our holiday spirit, leaving us feeling lethargic and less enthusiastic about the vacation.
The upside of oversleeping: recharging your batteries
But we cannot ignore the benefit of oversleeping - the chance to recharge our internal batteries. Our lives are usually jam-packed with responsibilities, from work to family commitments, and it's not uncommon to end up sleep-deprived. When the holidays roll in, it's a golden opportunity to catch up on those lost zzz's. Extra sleep helps our bodies and minds recover from the daily grind, allowing us to start the new year feeling fresh and energised.
Plus, oversleeping can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Sleep has a profound impact on our mental health, and during holidays, we might find ourselves more relaxed and carefree and therefore more able to fall asleep than those nights when we've got a lot on our minds. The lack of work-related pressure and the joyous atmosphere around can provide the foundation for a good night's sleep, or even a delightful afternoon nap.
Striking the right balance of holiday sleep
So, where does that leave us? Should we hit the snooze button without a care or force ourselves out of bed at the usual time? The answer lies somewhere in between - not too much and not too little. And remember, it’s not the same for everyone - adjust to what works best for you by following our top tips.
1. Listen to your body: Your body knows what it needs, so pay attention to its signals. If you feel well-rested after nine hours of sleep, stick to that duration. Oversleeping just for the sake of it might leave you feeling groggy. If you're feeling sleepy at 4pm, try to avoid a nap and opt for an earlier night - unless you don't mind the disruption an afternoon nap could cause later or you know you'll be up and out later than usual.
2. Create a flexible routine: Instead of abandoning your sleep schedule entirely, establish a flexible routine. Try to maintain a consistent wake-up time, but allow yourself an extra hour or so of sleep if and when it's needed.
3. Get some sunshine: Exposure to natural light in the morning can help regulate your body's internal clock. So, even if you're sleeping in, let some light into your room so you're not knocked out till past noon.
4. Avoid sleep binging: Just like we indulge in more treats on holidays, we might be tempted to indulge in marathon sleep sessions. But try to avoid this pattern, as it can lead to more harm than good.
5. Stay active: Engaging in physical activity during the day can help improve the quality of your sleep at night. So, make time for a holiday stroll or an afternoon dance party, or stick to your usual exercise routines if you prefer.
6. Limit sleep disruptions: It's easy to get carried away with holiday celebrations, but try not to let late-night parties or excessive screen time disrupt your sleep pattern. Balance later nights with some early ones.
At the end of the day, all you need to do is be kind to yourself. Holidays are about rest and recharging. Don't beat yourself up over a little extra sleep that leaves you restless that night, and don't let a late night derail your entire holiday experience. Embrace the opportunity to catch up on sleep, but be mindful of not overindulging.