2019-03-27

Stop believing this is possible. Even if you really could get 10 extra hours of sleep on the weekends to make up for losing two hours of sleep each night, this is not how sleep debts work. It takes an average of two weeks to work off a sleep debt, and that is assuming you sleep as much as your body is capable of sleeping. When you try and work off a sleep debt on weekends, all you do is screw up your circadian rhythm. Instead, create a bedtime routine that has you turning out the lights early enough for you to get seven to nine hours of sleep before your alarm goes off. Then, stay within an hour of those sleep and wake times even on weekends. This will help your body form a healthy sleep pattern that it can stick to instead of it getting completely befuddled and thinking that “nighttime” begins and noon and “morning” takes place at 3:00 a.m.

People who give out health advice almost always mean well. That does not stop them from sometimes being disastrously wrong. These are just a few of the examples of how common advice can be a catastrophe waiting to happen. When in doubt, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and above all, listen to your body. Eat when you are truly hungry. Drink water when you are thirsty. Sleep when you are tired. When it comes down to what you need, your body really does know best. You should listen to it sometime. You will find it gives the best and clearest advice around.