Are lie ins bad for you?
Weekends and bank holidays offer the perfect opportunity to turn off the alarm and get some extra shut-eye. It can feel indulgent to sleep in for longer than you normally do. We often think we’ll feel more restored and relaxed after lying in, which is why so many of us look forward to staying under the covers when the opportunity arises.
However, is lying in a good idea? We all know that sleep is important to maintain good health, but it is possible to get too much of a good thing? Along with our sleep expert Stephanie Romiszewski, we’ve investigated whether lying in is worth hitting the snooze button.
What you do consistently is important
Sometimes, you just want to spend some extra time dozing under the covers. An occasional lie-in can be a treat and there’s nothing wrong with staying in bed for longer than you normally would – as long as you don’t do it regularly.
Your body needs consistency when it comes to sleep. That’s why it’s usually best to maintain a regular wake-up time (even on holidays or at the weekend). If you can, try to wake up at the same time you would during the week. You’ll likely feel more refreshed and ready to take on weekend activities if you do. After all, you wouldn’t want to waste that precious free time in bed (no matter how cosy it is!).
As our resident sleep expert says,
“The important part of nailing your sleep routine is to ensure consistency. Make sure you’re sticking to your normal sleep pattern more often than you’re not.”
Lying in can make you feel more sleepy
Most of us choose to lie-in to feel more refreshed. More sleep should help us to feel restored, right?
In fact, getting too much sleep could make you feel sleepier. If you lie-in often, you may find that you feel lethargic and tired. That’s because lie-ins interrupt your body’s usual sleep cycle. This could mean that you get a poor-quality sleep the night after your lie in, which might have a knock-on effect for the rest of the week.
Regular lie-ins could mean you’re not getting enough sleep
If you look forward to the weekend as a chance to catch up on sleep, it could mean that you’re not getting enough of it during the week.
“If you are recovering during the weekends then you are sleep depriving yourself during the week, and you really need to fix this by having more consistent sleep opportunities every day (same wake up time, and bed when you’re sleep-tired – don’t force it, but don’t ignore it either!).”
If you’re used to regular lie ins, you might find that changing your routine to consistent wake-up times could make you sleepier in the short term. Stick with a regular routine and you’ll soon find yourself feeling refreshed at weekends – with no lie-ins needed!
Snoozing the alarm could encourage lethargy
If you tend to snooze the alarm a few times before getting out of bed, you’re likely to notice that you feel sleepier during the day. This is because your body associates waking up with dozing, meaning you feel more tired when you should be feeling alert.
Instead of the extra 10 minutes (which you probably don’t need anyway), try getting up as soon as your alarm goes off. Once you’re out of the cosy covers, you’ll find that you don’t miss the extra few minutes. Your body will get used to your new routine and you’ll find yourself feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day in no time.
For more tips on getting a good night’s rest, visit the Bensons for Beds blog.