Prepare your ZZZs!

Extra days off for the holidays usually mean two things— later nights out and the ability to catch up on some much-needed sleep. But not many of us consider the fact that “catching up” on missed sleep from holiday parties and New Year’s shenanigans can result in something that experts refer to as “social jet lag.”

What is Social Jet Lag?

Social jet lag occurs when you confuse your body due to changing sleep habits from weekends (and some upcoming holidays such as New Years) back to your normal Monday-Friday schedule.

Though hitting the snooze button for a few extra hours on Saturday morning may help you in the short-term, this so-called “sleep binging” will confuse your body and may result in grogginess and dull headaches— as if you just “traveled six time zones,” says Dr. W. Christopher Winter, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

So what can you do?

If you’re anticipating a late night, recent studies suggest that “banking sleep in advance” can actually counterbalance sleep deprivation. For example, try sleeping 10 hours a night for multiple days before January 1st. You might just wake up for work feeling fine (the hangover, on the other hand, is a different story).

Overall though, the best way to recover from a long night is scheduling naps. Taking a 25-minute nap at the same time every day will help prevent the grogginess that results from sleep binging.

So mark your calendar, set your timer, and lay down! You’ll feel the benefit of  taking regularly-scheduled naps. It also helps to have a nice, comfortable bed. So come into your local BedMart Mattress Superstore and start preparing for the New Year! We’ll help your 2015 get off to a great start.

Be Bed Smart.