So, you’ve been cheating yourself out of your required 7-8 hours of sleep Monday through Friday? And now that the weekend’s here you’re ready to redeem yourself by playing catch up, right?

Well, hold on, my friend; not so fast. You are about to wreak havoc on your biological clock—setting yourself for more harm than good in the upcoming week!

Our bodies were created with an inherent rhythm, the circadian rhythm, which sets the pace for hormone production responsible for governing our transition from night to day, and then back to night again. It is determined, or set, by a number of factors, such as environmental light intensity, but it also is a creature of habit. If you stay up extra late on weekend nights and sleep in multiple hours later than your Monday through Friday schedule dictates, your biological clock will never know what “time zone” you live in. The result will be a life lived in continuous “jet lag mode”: difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, and waking in the morning with a groggy feeling that you can’t shake for hours to come.

My advice (and the advice of other sleep experts) is that you maintain a sleep schedule on the weekends that closely resembles your midweek operation—give or take one hour. Beyond an hour fluctuation and your brain’s production of sleep-governing hormones will be thoroughly messed up—and so will your sleep.

Be diligent to go to bed each night 7-8 hours before you have to be up in the morning so you don’t have need to play “catch up” come the weekend.

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