There’s no better feeling than getting home from work on Friday night knowing that you have two whole days to do whatever you please. Maybe you choose to spend some extra time doing your favorite hobby or take a short road trip with a friend. However, once Monday comes, you may find yourself feeling more exhausted and groggy rather than satisfied and refreshed. Read on to learn several tips for combatting the weekend blues and feeling rested and prepared for the week ahead.
1. Don’t Drastically Change Your Sleep Routine
The number one mistake that most people make when Friday night rolls around is going to bed late and waking up late. People assume that they can stay up as late as they want Friday night because they have all day Saturday to sleep in — but this simply is not the case.
Your body runs off something called a “circadian rhythm”, which is essentially your body’s way of optimizing your energy when you need it most. The quickest way to knock your circadian rhythm off balance is to drastically change your sleep schedule, and doing so will leave you feeling exhausted, restless, and groggy.
Rather than trying to “make up for sleep” on the weekend, it’s best to wake up at the same time you would normally get up for work on a weekday. If you do this, your sleep pattern will be more in tune with your day-to-day schedule and you won’t feel so groggy when you get to work on Monday.
If you want to sleep better every night, check out The Mastery of Sleep by Dr. Michael Breus.
2. Be Careful With Junk Food and Alcohol
While the weekend might feel like the perfect time to let loose and fall back on your health routine a little, this won’t bode well for you once it comes time to start a new work week. Junk food, especially highly processed foods, are difficult to digest and can lead to problems sleeping. Sugary foods like soft drinks, fruit drinks, and candy can also make you feel alert when it’s time to wind down for bed.
Alcohol plays a different role in affecting your sleep, but it can be equally as bad. According to the Sleep Foundation, alcohol consumption can lead to the suppression of Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM). This is one of the most important phases of sleep. Ideally, you shouldn’t drink at all on weekends, but if you have to, be sure to do it earlier in the day.
3. Take Time to Unplug
The average person will spend around 5 hours each day on their phone. Whether it’s time spent checking social media, sending messages, or doing work, everyone needs time away from technology in order to reset.
Try setting a simple goal for yourself, like no screen time for one day each weekend. Of course, you should keep your phone on during this time in case there’s an emergency and you need to answer your phone.
Studies show that excessive internet use and internet addiction can lead to sleeping problems. In this day and age, it’s very easy to succumb to information overload which makes it very difficult to quiet your mind when it comes time to go to bed. Another mistake people make is using their phone or watching TV right before bed. Your phone emits blue light, which is known for suppressing melatonin, a hormone that’s responsible for your sleep-wake cycle.
Just Do It!
It’s not always easy to find the willpower to change your weekend habits, but when you consider the benefits it’s well worth giving it a try. Not only will healthy habits leave you feeling well-rested and prepared for the workweek, but they will keep your mind clear so you can have a more productive and enjoyable weekend as well.