Learn to pick up the beat after the end of the year celebrations. Is the change in sleep and activity times between weekdays and holidays comparable to jet lag, that hourly decomposition that occurs after long trips? Well yes: Many people go to bed late but then wake up early and accumulate a sleep debt that they try to compensate on their days off, and our biological clock sets a rhythm that, sometimes, does not adjust to social requirements.
Holidays allow moments of relaxation to disconnect from the daily stress experienced in the work center; But what do you do to get back on track when you go back to the office? The first thing is to know how to anticipate: before taking a break, it is advisable to organize what will be done after returning to work.
In any case ... who likes Mondays? Starting the week tired is quite common, since on Sunday night many sleep less than they need. In this way, they carry a sleep debt throughout the week. To get it back, they get up later on the weekend, which makes it easier for them not to feel sleepy at night and so history repeats itself over and over again. In this difficulty in adapting the sleep cycle to social demands, circadian rhythms have a decisive influence.
“Circadian rhythms are biological cycles that last close to twenty-four hours. The biological clock synchronizes these rhythms (such as kidney function, central body temperature or the cycle of sleep and wakefulness) with the external environment, which marks the cycle of light and dark, the times of meals or social time, among other things, ”says the Spanish psychologist María José Collado, who states that our days are structured by the interaction of the circadian, solar, biological and social cycles.
LARKS AND OWLS
There are morning and evening people, what the specialists colloquially call larks and owls. ”The“ larks ”wake up early spontaneously and have difficulty staying up late. In contrast, "owls" are almost nocturnal in their activity. They go to bed at dawn and sleep well into the day ", detail Marc Wittmann and other authors in the article entitled" Social jetlag: misalignment of biological and social time. "
Researchers indicate that work schedules, which typically start early in the morning, are more appropriate for people in the morning. The evenings consume more stimulant substances, such as alcohol or coffee, and are smokers more frequently than the morning ones. In fact, "the consumption of alcohol and nicotine is considered a symptom of the lack of ability to adapt to social demands," they say. .
For their part, morning people find it difficult to meet the requirements of their friends related to nightlife during the weekend. In either case, the sleep cycle suffers. “We lose hours of sleep, it is difficult for us to fall asleep, we feel sleepy, tired or in a bad mood,” says María José Collado.
Let the light pass
There are some measures to alleviate these imbalances. According to the psychologist Collado, “exposing ourselves to bright light in the morning will advance our biological rhythms and allow us to better adapt to morning requirements. However, light at the beginning of the night will delay these rhythms and make it difficult to sleep at night. ”Likewise, it is essential to get enough sleep all week and not accumulate lost sleep during the weekdays. Collado affirms that regular schedules throughout the week "facilitate an optimal adaptation of the biological clock to our environmental or social requirements."
BACK TO THE WORLD
<br>• Take your time to rest: try not to accumulate so much fatigue this year that begins. Get used to going to sleep at a set time. By resting better, you will feel that you concentrate more easily and that you have time.
<br>• Give yourself permissions: Make a place in your agenda for what you like. Do not stop going out with your friends, at least on weekends, propose to practice a sport once a week.
<br>• Focus on your goal: If you are unmotivated to return to the routine, try to think about the reasons that have led you to be where you are. Focus on the goals to achieve and that you find joyful, in addition to sharing the day with your co-workers or studies, and making new friends. If you can see the positive side of getting back to day to day, it will surely not take long for you to regain your rhythm.