Don’t change your sleep schedule unnecessarily Don’t change your sleep schedule unnecessarily

Even if you don’t need to get up early, don’t change your schedule too much to avoid emotional indisposition, lack of energy, or health imbalances.

Going on vacation means taking a break from the daily routine and changing some habits such as getting up early. It is the perfect excuse to sleep late or stay up longer than usual.  However, modifying your sleep schedule may not be very beneficial for your day to day.

The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person and changes throughout our life cycle. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and children need even more, depending on their age.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) explains that not only does the number of hours of sleep matter, but also the quality of sleep. This factor can affect the way your body functions the next day.

“We need to sleep to think clearly, react quickly, and create memories. In fact, the brain’s pathways that help us learn and remember are very active while we sleep,” explains the NHLBI.

Altering your sleep schedule even by 1 hour can make it difficult to concentrate the next day and can decrease response times to stimulus. It has been shown that, due to lack of sleep, people are more likely to make bad decisions and take unnecessary risks, performing less at work or school and having a higher risk of car accidents, for example.

It can also affect your mood and make you irritable, or gradually worsen your general health. That’s why the Institute offers advice on this subject:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. On vacation you can set a later bedtime and get up later, but be consistent.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
  • Do not do exercise too late in the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages before sleeping, as well as having big meals and having a lot to drink.
  • Do not take a nap after 3:00pm.
  • Create an appropriate sleeping environment by getting rid of noisy distractions, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, a TV or computer.

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