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The How-To Lounge: Catching up on Sleep


It seems like every week I’m playing catch-up on sleep from the previous weekend. In fact, until I actually make a mental note to chill out, relax, and get in some extra Zs, I just keep getting more and more run-down. And I know I’m not alone, so I want to share some of my tricks with those of you who are in desperate need of more sleep. To see them, just read more.

  • First of all, when it comes to rest, it’s all about quality over quantity. So if you only got six hours of sleep, getting 10 hours of sleep the next night is not the equivalent of two eight-hour nights. It’s far more important that the sleep you do get is deep and regenerative, so pull down the shades and turn off your phone!
  • With that in mind, when you do try to catch up on lost sleep by sleeping in, you’re actually confusing your body's natural sleep pattern, which is why you can end up more tired when you get up later. I love sleeping in too, but if you really want to catch up, then you have to avoid it.
  • Instead, try taking a power nap later on that day. Usually you only need 20 to 40 minutes to feel refreshed. Again, much longer and you might end up feeling more groggy than energized.
  • Rest is better than nothing. Even if you can’t fall asleep for a nap, lie down for 30 minutes; it will give your muscles and your mind a chance to relax.
  • I've heard contradictory thoughts about whether or not you should just get up and walk around when you're having a difficult time falling asleep. Lying in bed feeling frustrated about not being able to sleep can make you anxious and keep you from relaxing. I think it's best to get up, but avoid any stimulating activities.

There's nothing as emotionally draining as losing too much sleep, but instead of getting flustered, keep these tips in mind and know that your body will naturally compensate over time.

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