How could we possibly make such a statement about our precious weekend slumber?! Who doesn’t look forward to shutting off their alarm for Saturday and Sunday mornings? However, no matter how late you sleep in, the weekdays still come too early. Turns out, science is against us on this one.
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre found that “sleep debt” built up during the week can only be recovered by going to bed eight hours before our usual wake-up time –not by going to bed later and getting up later. Sleeping in doesn’t help us feel more awake; instead it leaves our energy levels lower and disrupts the body’s internal clock. So much so that just a few extra hours make us feel even more tired than normal on Monday morning!
This study was completed in 2012 and by now, this knowledge is one of those things we’ve all heard yet continuously ignore. We deem it our guilty pleasure, shut the blinds and let the snoring roll on. If you can’t find it in yourself to go to bed earlier on Friday or Saturday night, than there are other ways to restart and prepare for the week that have nothing to do with the bags under your eyes.
- Check your calendar, and while you’re at it, prioritize your to-do list. This will keep what you need to accomplish simple and clear. Note any meetings or family responsibilities, that way everyone (is literally) on the same page. Try to keep this in an open space where it can be easily seen and revised.
- You knew this would be on the list: meal plan and outfit plan. This is easier said than done, but it will cut time, stress and possibly save your money and health. Spend less time aimlessly walking around the grocery thinking about what you will have for dinner and more time eating your delicious, planned meal. Plus, you will eat out less and feel good about the choices you handpicked and thought through.
- Put the phone away and go outside. It is a warm, sunny day and the last thing you should be doing is lounging on the couch. You will be in an office sitting for the better part of the next few days – get some fresh air and stretch your leg muscles! On top of that, spend quality time with your family and friends. The weekend might be just as busy as the weekday, but it should involve activities with those you care about.
- Organize and clean your home. Don’t roll your eyes, this is important. A clean, simplified living environment can make a huge difference in your outlook and overall emotional state. How can you expect to relax and get things done when your surroundings suggest a chaotic, complicated, and disordered lifestyle? Throw your laundry and dishes in the washer and wipe down the counters – it will make a difference and it doesn’t take too much time.
These are only a few tips you can try to recharge and plan for the week ahead. Every hour of the weekend is valuable and the potential to be proactive and relax is there. In fact, they should work hand in hand. Find your rhythm and embrace the unwinding opportunities. It’s your time — use it wisely and enjoy!