You know when what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend turns into a two day rager full of activities and hardly any sleep? Do you find yourself not only being totally drained on Monday but for the most of the week? Then you have experienced Social Jet Lag. It's a fancy name for when your sleep cycle gets messed up and you don't rebound fast. The condition is getting a lot of attention this week as a new study finds that the more social jet lag you have, the more likely you are to develop heart disease. Awesome.
These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health. This suggests that a regular sleep schedule may be an effective, relatively simple, and inexpensive preventative treatment for heart disease as well as many other health problems,” says Sierra B. Forbush, the study’s lead researcher.
So how do you beat social jet lag? Basically you want to ensure that you get as much good sleep as you can so if you get a little less one night or even two nights, you won't have a heart attack by age 35. Here are some tips for making your sleep awesome.
Make a To-Do List
Something that may keep you up at night is thinking about all the things you have to do the next day. So take some time before you go to bed and make your to-do list for the next day. This way you have done it and know what you need to do so it won't keep you awake in your bed.
Turn off the Machines
Countless studies have shown that the fact that we are all glued to screens literally from the minute we wake up until we go to sleep really messes with our REM cycles. Trying stepping away from any screens, big or small, at least an hour before you plan to hit the hey.
Yup that pesky meditation is found to be good for sleeping also. You can meditate right before bed or throughout the day and still expect better sleep. Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at New York University School of Medicine said, "If you can keep your stress levels under control during the day, you'll sleep better at night. You can even do them at your desk or on the train." Here are some tips on meditation.
Try Giving Up Caffeine
As someone who basically feels weird if she doesn't have a Venti Coffee in her hand at all times, this sounds insane but studies show that sleep is negatively affected even when consumed 0, 3, and 6 hours prior to bedtime. So you can still have your coffee just watch what time you have it at. If you do really want to try to go cold turkey you may find it makes some real positive impacts on your sleep but read this so you are totally prepared.
Something that can definitely keep you up is an empty stomach so make sure you are perfectly satiated before bed. If you ate dinner really early have a little bed time snack. Conversely, don't have a huge meal too late as that will keep you up as well.
Make Your Bedroom a Tranquil Place
Get the comfiest of pillows and one of those sound machines if nned be. You want the place where you sleep to be a calming and relaxing environment. Light candles so it smells good (just blow them out before you sleep!) Seriously, that place should feel like a spa.