The Truth About Snow Days and Sleep
With just under two months left of winter, it's quite possible we have yet to see the worst of it. As northern temperatures are hovering in the twenties and snow fall is covering much of the Midwest, it's only a matter of time before your youngsters run down the stairs and the two of the most powerful words of the season: snow day.
Who doesn't love a snow day every now and then? The possibilities are endless – sledding, tubing, snowmen, movies, so little time yet so much to do! And snow days are also a blessing for those who struggle to get out of bed in the morning. There's nothing better than falling back asleep – with no alarm – and waking up hours later with nothing to do and nowhere to be.
Is there a downside to sleeping off an entire snow day?
Although we certainly don't blame you for spending the day in bed, snow days are no different from weekends in the wonderful world of sleep health. Sudden changes in your regular sleep patterns are likely to throw off your circadian rhythms.
So, even though it may feel good to catch up on some Zzz's in the short-term, it's only going to be more difficult to wake on at your normal time when all the snow melts and reality sets back in.
Can't a snow day help me pay back some of my sleep debt?
Sleep debt is the difference between how much sleep you should be getting at night and how much sleep you're actually getting. And yes, of course you can catch up on sleep and in return, pay back some of that sleep debt, but you're going to need more than a day or two to do so. To truly make up for those sleepless nights its best to tack on one or two extra hours each night – gradual progression is best.
Don't get us wrong, we're all for catching up on sleep whenever you can – and a snow day is as good a time as any – just don't overdo it!
Ok, ok. Can I at least lay in bed watching Netflix all day?
It pains us to say this, but you should really try to avoid doing that. As it turns out, the more time you spend in bed, the less likely you are to maintain a proper sleep regiment. Spending the day watching television in bed will likely trigger extended periods of tiredness and fatigue, similar to how you may feel when you wake up in the morning.
Next time you're gearing up for a snow day, do your best to avoid making plans exclusively under-the-covers. There's nothing wrong with sleeping a little longer, but with so little time and so many possibilities, it would be pretty unfair to spend the whole day in bed. If you do, you'll miss out the snowmen, the snowball fights, hot cocoa and everything in between. Besides, your bed will still be there waiting for you when you return. Mattress Firm promises!