Hi, my name is Rachel. I’ve been tasked with the extremely difficult task of sleeping and relaxing as much as possible this weekend. My job is tough, it really is. But for real, sleep is an incredible feat of the body and this weekend it gets the VIP treatment it deserves.
If you’re like me, I go in waves of sleeping like a hibernating bear and flitting around like a roving night owl. It’s a bit spastic. But this weekend: a buffet of sleep awaits.
You should join me in reseting your sleep. Here’s what my schedule looks like, but you can adapt your bedtimes and activities accordingly to what fits your sleep needs best:
- 3-5pm: Dream about the coming weekend. Start browsing for a sleeping splurge (some ideas: Are your pillows lumpy? Do you need blackout curtains to block light in your room? Is it time to get a new mattress?).
- 7pm: Let the Netflix and chill commence. You can drink a little something boozy with dinner, but don’t use alcohol to sleep. Studies have shown although a glass of wine may help you fall asleep, it reduces the amount of time spent in REM sleep: the valuable stage when the body restores itself.
- 9:30pm: Crank down the thermostat to a cuddly 65 degrees. Your body’s core temperature actually drops as an “it’s time for bed” signal, and lowering your thermostat will ensure a warm room doesn’t interrupt the cue for heavy eyelids.
- 10:00pm: Lights out. This, of course, will vary from hibernating bear person to hibernating bear person, but a good rule of thumb is to count backward from when you usually wake up during the week. If my usual wakeup is 6:30am, I count backward 8.5 hours to figure out when I should be asleep. A consistent nighttime ritual is key to falling asleep.
- Sometime in the morning: Wake up. I cleared my alarms for this sleep reset to allow my body to put a dent in any sleep debt. While the best way to tackle this debt is by consistently getting an extra hour per night until you’re caught up, we can gorge ourselves a bit on sleep this weekend, after all: it is a buffet.
- After waking up: morning exercise. I’ll go on a run, but you can choose whatever activity that’ll get your blood pumping. Again, we’re trying to send super clear signals to our body when it’s time to sleep and time to be awake.
- 10am: Drink down the day’s caffeine. Caffeine is a significant disrupter to our sleeping signals even six hours after drinking it, so we’ll stick to morning coffee to play it safe this weekend.
- 11am: Brunch, obvi. Because weekend brunch is the best. Try to include some fresh fruit, yogurt, or eggs with your endless mimosas.
- 1pm: Buy something new for sleep. Since I work for a company that’s all about sleep, I’ve already bought a new mattress (awesome), new sheets (awesome), and an adjustable base (triple awesome) in the last six months: all worth their weight in gold. So for the reset, I’ll stick to something reasonable like soft pajamas.
- 7pm: Take a bubble bath. With candles. And some light reading. There’s a reason this setup is cliche: it’s awesome.
- 9:30pm: Crank down the thermostat, get ready for bed.
- 10pm: Lights out.
- Sometime in the morning: Wake up. You may notice you didn’t sleep quite as late as the prior morning: that is a good sign that your body is catching up on sleep.
- After waking up: Morning yoga session. Again, get your blood flowing to let your body know it’s time to wake up.
- 2:30pm: Afternoon nap. Research suggests a little 20-minute power nap is a perfect recharge. This shortened length also prevents you from that hit-the-wall slog you might experience after a lengthier nap.
- 6:30pm: Eat a sleep-friendly dinner like a chicken cashew stir-fry (chicken and nuts contain tryptophan—a natural melatonin booster).
- 9:30pm: Crank down thermostat, get ready for bed.
- 10pm: Lights out.
So once all that is complete, I’ll be fresh as a daisy. There may be waffles. There will be lazy afternoon naps. You don’t need a pricey yoga retreat to feel relaxed and refreshed. Try this duvetcation right at home.
Want some other sleep reset ideas for your weekend? Here’s a sampling:
- Get a massage
- Go mattress shopping
- Get rid of old ratty pajamas
- Take a morning hike
- Try a spin class to tire you out
- Charge your phone away from your bed
- Nap both days
- Drink chamomile tea before bedtime
- Read a book instead of looking at a screen in bed
- Try a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow
- Take a morning walk