Have you ever wondered why Monday morning you wake up with the “Monday Blues”? You know, that unshakable feeling of grogginess that causes you to down an entire pot of coffee before 10 a.m.? This effect happens as a result of shifting sleep patterns between the workweek and weekend, and can have lasting results in wearing your body down beyond Monday morning.
During the weekend, most people go to bed and wake up approximately two hours later than during the workweek. By Sunday night, your circadian rhythm has already been adjusted to meet your weekend sleeping patterns, so waking up two hours earlier Monday morning requires a “recalibration” for your body, which leaves you feeling jet lagged and un-refreshed.
So, what can you do to prevent the “Monday Blues?”
Try to follow a seven-day, regular sleep schedule–this will help alleviate symptoms associated with the Monday Blues, meaning you’ll wake up more refreshed and ready to meet the day, everyday. To learn more, read an earlier post from Sleep expert, Pete Bils, about the consequences of lack of sleep.
If the “Monday Blues” persist and you just can’t shake the grogginess, consider taking a nap that is between 10 and 30 minutes long for short-term alertness and performance. Sleep is cyclical, so if you nap longer than 30 minutes, you will enter your deepest sleep stage, called the delta stage. As a result, you will experience some grogginess.
Or, if you have more time on your hands, shoot for a 90-minute nap. This stage of sleep is a natural waking point because it’s a lighter sleep stage during which your body and brain is more prepared to arise from slumber. Learn what napping strategies work best for you–they’ve actually been said to make you smarter!
I’ll leave you with this: at the turn of the twentieth century, Americans averaged 9.5 hours of sleep. While the ideal standard for sleeping time per night is 8 hours, today’s average American averages less than 7 hours of sleep. This means we’re missing out on important processes like bodily repairs, weight control and building a strong immune system. Join with me in making sleep a priority by keeping a regular sleep schedule and napping when possible for healthy and energetic living.