I am sure we have all heard of the devastating effects sleeping in has on our body and mind such as; being lethargic, less creative, less productive, less energetic, having a higher risk of obesity, pain, heart disease etc, etc (Rosie Osmun), and you’re probably thinking sleeping in is overall pretty bad. Well, I’m here to flip the coin and say that sleeping in doesn’t have to be as bad as you think! We shouldn’t feel guilty for relaxing in the comfort of our beds for an extra hour or two when we get the chance!
The status quo:
There is this general consensus in our society that people who sleep in are lazy, unenthusiastic and lethargic. Often, people are sleeping in because of a variety of factors such as; having little sleep the night before, having a few too many wines, staying up late studying, eating too much sugar and copious other reasons. Sleeping in is thus a reflection of our unhealthy habits and lifestyles, right?
Granted, there are many factors that affect a person wanting to sleep in. However, let’s say a person has a pretty normal sleeping pattern during the working week and is wanting to spend a couple of extra minutes (or hours) in bed on their day off. Surely this should be okay?
There are numerous and endless articles out there that describe the detrimental affects sleeping in has on our health and below is just one of them:
Nick Stockton in his article “What’s Up With That: Why Does Sleeping In Just Make Me More Tired?”, states that:
Oversleeping feels so much like a hangover that scientists call it sleep drunkenness. But, unlike the brute force neurological damage caused by alcohol, your misguided attempt to stock up on rest makes you feel sluggish by confusing the part of your brain that controls your body’s daily cycle.
So, if we sleep in we feel like we are hungover. Who wants that?
Not many of us.
So, what happens if we really enjoy sleeping in? Should we stop because of the negative effects it has on our health?
If sleeping in brings you great amounts of joy then why should you stop something that makes you happy?
Bottom line is: You shouldn’t.
You should only re-think sleeping in if you are frequently over-sleeping and are generally not getting enough sleep. Adults need between 7- 9 hours of sleep per night and if you are often needing more than that then maybe there is something else going on to cause your over-sleeping.
On the other hand, if you are lacking in sleep then maybe you could re-arrange your schedule to make sure you are getting at least the minimum every night. (Apparently, if you are getting less than 7 hours you are classed as sleep deprived! Not good. (See reference).
What if you sleep well?
What about the usual plonker (like me) who gets a pretty good amount of sleep during the week but wants to treat themselves on the weekends? Well, we don’t have to feel bad about it!
The benefits of sleeping in:
Sleeping in can actually bring you a benefit or two.
- Firstly, sleeping in can get you into a nice and relaxing routine for the day: If you have a day off and plan on not doing much then sleeping in can be a great way to kick off your relaxing day.
- Sleeping in may help you to feel less stressed: If your mind has been full up all week with over-thinking and to do lists, then taking some extra time to relax and ease into your day can be beneficial to your mindset.
- Sleeping in is a great time to practise gratitude and mindfulness: For example, you could take a few moments to feel your comfortable sheets surrounding you and the supportive pillow or, maybe even tune into the noises around you. You could generate feelings of gratitude for the bed and comfort you are enjoying. (If you would like to explore some more gratitude techniques click here).
- Sleeping in is a perfect way to practise self-love: If you have had a hard week then you are doing yourself a favour by relaxing in the comfort of your bed for those few extra minutes. You should not criticise yourself or feel bad for practising self-love rather, you should be thanking yourself for making the time to relax. (Read more about self-love practises, here).
- You are not wasting your day, you are just choosing to start it a little differently than you usually do: Make sure when you sleep in you are planning on having a relaxing day. If you sleep in when you have plans, chances are you will experience some of the negative effects that sleeping in brings. Try to plan to sleep in when you are having the day to yourself, so you can cruise through the day with a slower pace rather than a rushed one.
- Sleeping in is a great time to practise some breathing techniques: When you are laying in bed why not move into the day with some easy breathing techniques and maybe even a short meditation? Hopefully this will help you to feel as though you started your day a little productively! (If you would like to learn to meditate please subscribe to my email list below, to gain your free 7 day beginners meditation guide!)
But, what happens if you want to sleep in on your working day?
This is also possible…
If you plan.
Generally speaking no one likes to sleep in when they have to get up and be somewhere, like work. It’s not a nice feeling waking up and starting your day rushed and running late. But, if you plan, you can maximise your sleep in time as to still be productive and get the few extra minutes of comfort.
We all have different routines in the morning before work. For some of us this includes making our lunch, having a shower, making a coffee and eating breakfast.
How can we get all of this done and sleep in?
- Make your lunch the night before: This sounds rather simple right? Well it could save you 10 minutes in the morning, meaning … more sleep in time = WIN!
- Become a night-time shower person: It’s seriously not that bad. I mean, you get to go to bed all fresh and clean, which is rather nice!
- Make your breakfast the night before or, eat it in the car on your way to work: Either one takes a bit of planning. There are some yummy over night breakfast recipes out there nowadays such as overnight oats with frozen berries or, chia seed puddings. If you’re wanting to eat in the car then make sure to take your breakfast to work in a secure container so it stays all compacted and neat and not all over your freshly ironed white shirt.
All of these planning tips = More Sleep In Time = Ultimate Win!
Okay, so this post has given you a few of the highs and lows of sleeping in but overall, sleeping in is not as bad as it is portrayed to be. It is possible to sleep in without the negative side effects. If you sleep in once or twice a week and actually appreciate the time you have spent relaxing in bed then this is a great and wonderful way to show yourself some serious self-love. You can tune into your senses, be grateful, practise some breathing techniques, be mindful and start the day with a relaxing and calm state of mind. You can even sleep in a little longer on your working day if you plan. If this doesn’t sound like winning then I don’t know what does!
Obviously, if you have places to be and people to see it is a good idea to make sure you have had enough sleep as to avoid the negative effects of sleeping in.
I do highly encourage you to find a regular sleep pattern and to only sleep in when you have limited tasks on your agenda. Sleeping in should be a treat and done in moderation!
Let me know if you liked this post and if you agree or disagree with what I have said. I would really appreciate your feedback!