Had a long week at work? Desperately need to catch up on some sleep? It’s time to plan a lie in! One of life’s greatest pleasures, we all look forward to sleeping in at the weekend. However, sometimes, try as we might, having a well-deserved lie in isn’t always as easy as turning the alarm clock off.
Health benefits of a lie in
The health benefits of sleep are countless: faster metabolism, enhanced healing, improved memory and lower stress levels to name but a few. During the week, getting the amount of sleep we need to reap these benefits can sometimes be difficult, leaving us irritable and vulnerable to illness. To make up for lost time, people all over the world use their days off to sleep in, resting their body and preparing it for the week to come.
The effect of lie-ins on the body, however, continues to be a controversial topic: with some news stories suggesting that erratic sleeping patterns (no sleep in the week and lots of sleep at weekends) are linked to obesity and diabetes while others claim that sleeping in benefits our performance and mental capabilities. Despite this controversy, one thing that all of the sources can agree on is the importance of sleep and the fact that the occasional lie in is good for you.
How to plan for a successful lie in
Here are 7 tips you can try to prepare yourself for a long lie in:
- Switch the alarm off
That’s right, if you want a lie in, it’s time to turn off the shrill ring that instils horror throughout the week: the dreaded alarm clock.
- Turn off all electronics
When your body is exposed to light, it prevents the synthesis of the sleep-facilitating hormone melatonin, so it’s always a good idea to turn off all of your light-emitting electronics.
- Think about investing in black-out curtains
Black-out curtains are a great way to shield yourself from the light outside, ensuring that you get an undisturbed night’s sleep. If black-out curtains are a little out of your price range, a good light-cancelling eye mask will have a similar effect.
- Choose the right bed
More than one in five of us believe that buying a new bed would have the greatest impact on our length and quality of sleep. So, to increase your chance of a lie in, consider investing in a comfortable bed.
- Monitor the temperature of the room
For a perfect night’s sleep, The Sleep Council advises that the optimum room temperature should be somewhere between 13 and 24 ℃, anything outside of this range is thought to make us restless and cause disrupted sleep.
- Grab a pair of ear plugs
Cancelling out residual noise reduces the likelihood that you’ll be disturbed in the night, leading to a successful lie in.
- Avoid alcohol
Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol, although it helps you to fall asleep, is not a sleep aid. Instead, the more alcohol you consume before bed, increases the likelihood that you’ll wake up in the night dehydrated and needing to spend a nocturnal penny.