New Delhi: Every Friday, when someone asks you what plans you have for the weekend, you most definitely reply that you are going to catch up on the sleep you lost through the week. All of us have very busy lives, from running to work in the morning to taking care of household chores, and with all of this, sleep suffers. Even when you make a proper sleep schedule, something or the other disrupts it – sometimes you have to work in shifts, and other times, it is just a noisy, annoying neighbour.
However, getting enough sleep is very important. Sleep is restorative as it helps our body and mind to relax, and repair. A study had also found that you cannot ‘catch-up’ on sleep on the weekend, as we believe. We may feel more relaxed and rejuvenated, but in reality, the damage due to improper sleep is done before we can catch up on it. Therefore, here are 5 things you can do on the weekend, that will help you improve sleep patterns through the week.
- Do not sleep in – On the weekend, you may want to sleep in a little extra. However, make sure you do not extend your time in bed by more than half an hour. Not only will it create a problem for you to fall asleep later that night, but it will also disrupt all other aspects of your day – like the time you have your meals, when you shower, etc.
- Find the right sleep music – Studies suggest that white or pink noise can help you sleep better. There are some music pieces designed and known to reduce anxiety, help you sleep better, and improve REM sleep. Use the weekend to find the right music that helps you sleep better, and use it when you cannot fall asleep.
- Eat right – Your diet affects more than just your weight. The food you eat can determine the quality and duration of your sleep. It is advised to have a light and early dinner, at least two hours before you hit the bed. Eating healthy throughout the day will also help you sleep better. Do not go overboard with junk food and your cheat meals, just because it is a weekend.
- Keep healthy midnight snacks handy – When you have an early dinner, and cannot fall asleep, you are likely to feel hungry again. However, if you rely on junk and processed food for snacks, you may find it even more difficult to go to sleep. Therefore, keep healthy snacks handy. Fresh fruits, milk, fruit juice, nuts, etc can help you tackle midnight hunger pangs, and sleep in a deep slumber.
- Avoid habits that disrupt sleep – Smoking before going to bed, consuming caffeine, alcohol, etc can disrupt sleep. If you have any such habits, it is time to quit them. These habits can interfere with your sleep, and make it difficult for you to wake up in the morning. Smoking and consumption of alcohol also have other health risks associated with them.