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Here’s Why You Should Never Skip Your Sleep On Weekends

Here’s Why You Should Never Skip Your Sleep On Weekends

After putting on a professional face for five days and 40 hours, many people use the weekend as a time to break free from routine and relax. Although you definitely deserve some downtime, relaxation for many people means late nights out, bar hopping, or even just indulging in movie marathons with friends and family that last far past midnight. You should look after your mental health, but getting enough sleep and following your normal sleep cycle are part of it.

Everyone is familiar with the short-term side effects of not getting enough sleep— temporary memory loss, impaired brain function, a bad mood you just can’t shake. After reading this article, you will never skip your sleep on weekends. Continue reading to understand why researchers say you should definitely get enough sleep on the weekends.

1. You’ll be happier

Sleep is important in regulating your mood, so you feel positive and don’t overreact. Studies show a lack of sleep affects serotonin levels in the brain, which helps keep you on an even keel. If you don’t get enough shut-eye, you may be more likely to lash out.

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2. You’ll learn and remember better

Although scientists are still unraveling the link between sleep and learning, hundreds of studies show sleep is important to encode memories for the long term, and one study even showed power napping for 45 to 60 minutes increased learning and retention fivefold.

3. Increase your attention

If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re so prone to driving accidents you might as well have drunk a bunch of alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 100,000 crashes each year come from a lack of sleep.

4. Up your sex drive

Studies show men produce testosterone when they’re sleeping, which is important in sexual functioning, but getting about 5 hours of sleep each night for a week decreased testosterone levels by 15 percent. Sleep is important to regulate hormones in general, so getting less than you need will affect their levels.

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5. Reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, poor sleep increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. This is definitely a reason to go to bed when you feel sleepy.

6. Amp up your energy

Stop relying on caffeine and use the most natural source of energy – sleep. If you get enough sleep and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, you’ll be getting all the energy you need to function.

7. Look better

Ever heard someone say “you look tired”? When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows. A study in the journal Sleep showed people who didn’t get enough had redder, baggier eyes, more fine lines and wrinkles, were paler, and just looked, well, tired.

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How you sleep on weekends is just as important – getting 8 hours of sleep if you go to bed at 4:00 AM won’t give you the same benefits as going to bed at 10:00 PM.

8. You’re more likely to indulge when you go to bed late

The Daily Mail reported that people who go to bed after 11 PM are more likely to eat unhealthy snacks and drink alcohol, which translates to an increase in over 200 calories compared to those who go to bed before 11 PM.

9. If you eat late, sleep late, and wake up late, you may gain more weight

In one study, those who ate after 8 PM, went to bed around 3:45 AM, and woke up around 10:45 AM had higher BMIs, the National Sleep Foundation warns.

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You also can’t sleep in to “catch-up” on sleep. If you didn’t get enough sleep during the week, sleeping in might be more harmful than helpful. Studies show the best way to make up for lost sleep is just to follow your sleep schedule and circadian rhythm.

So, give your body what it needs this weekend — a much-needed rest.

Featured photo credit: nomao saeki via unsplash.com

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Evlin Symon

Evlin Symon is a health and wellness expert specialized in fitness, weight loss, pregnancy, nutrition and beauty.

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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