However, the good news is that further studies show that it takes just three nights of high-quality sleep to recover from deprivation.
With this in mind, the sleeping experts at MattressNextDay have created a three-day guide to resetting your body clock this bank holiday weekend, all of which is backed up by scientific sources.
Day 1: Saturday
Today’s wake-up time: 10am
Today’s bedtime: 11pm
- Complete a 30-minute workout, as exercise is known to improve your sleep quality and duration of sleep.
- Drink at least two litres of water as even mild dehydration can leave you feeling sleepy and tired throughout the day.
- As light plays an important role in regulating your body’s internal clock, start dimming your lights in the afternoon so that your room is virtually black at bedtime.
- If you’re struggling to sleep, try this five-minute hack: list random items in your head that are easy to visualise but not directly related – potatoes, Tarzan, a violin. This will tire your brain out and help keep your mind off issues preventing you from sleep.
Day 2: Sunday
Today’s wake-up time: 8am
Today’s bedtime: 11pm
- As soon as you wake up, open your curtains so that the bright light signals your brain to stop producing the sleep hormone, melatonin, which makes you feel drowsy.
- Go for a walk to increase your vitamin D, as even just 10 minutes spent in the sun can stop you from feeling sleepy and/or sad.
- If you need a nap, do it the right way. You should only sleep for between 10–20 minutes as anything longer than 30 minutes can risk feeling groggy as your body will have entered a deep sleep cycle. Also, never fall asleep eight hours before your bedtime.
- Even though it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, only allow yourself one unit of alcohol as anything more is likely to disrupt your sleep throughout the night and cause excessive sleepiness the following day.
Day 3: Monday
Today’s wake-up time: 7am (depending on what time you normally get up for work)
Today’s bedtime: 10pm
- Your diet and sleep quality are linked, so you should never skip breakfast as it plays an important role in wakefulness. Stick to a balanced breakfast that is adequate in protein and healthy fats for an energy boost – eggs, plain, lean meat, avocado.
- While caffeine can provide a short-term energy boost, it takes an average of five hours to eliminate half the amount of consumed caffeine – so you should never drink coffee 5–7 hours before bed. You should also keep your intake to two cups at a max.
- When you’re stressed, your body produces more of the stress hormone, cortisol. The higher the cortisol, the more awake you feel – why is why it’s important to have a winding down routine at night. This could include yoga, stretching, meditation, deep breathing, or a hot bath – as all are proven to help you relax.
- Steady rainfall noises help lure the brain into falling asleep as they are predictable, calming, stable, non-threatening and can block outside noises – making them the perfect sound to fall asleep to.