Why your weekend lie-in isn't a good idea

Hey, we’ve all done it.

You get into a habit of working late, then scrolling TikTok for hours, then watching Love Island later than you should, and generally engaging in all sorts of revenge bedtime procrastination.

Soon enough, your sleep routine is a mess and you’re far shy of your eight hours a night.

But it’s okay, because you’ll just catch up on sleep at the weekend… right?

Well, unfortunately not.

A weekend lie-in might feel great in the moment (no alarm! The joy of waking up, checking the time, then rolling back over on to your pillow!), but it’s really not doing you much good – and it’s certainly not making up for rubbish sleep during the week.

‘When it comes to sleep, it’s quality rather than quantity that’s important,’ Dr Sue Peacock, a consultant health psychologist, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘If you feel that you really could do with a lie-in, it’s best if you keep it to under 30 minutes, otherwise you will wake sluggish and lethargic. While that additional nap can provide a bit of an energy boost, you aren’t able to fully cycle through the stages of sleep in the same way you would during the night, so it isn’t a substitute for a full night’s rest.

‘People often try to use naps and lie-ins to catch up on insufficient sleep, but this just throws their sleep schedule out of kilter, making it harder to drift off at bedtime.’

If your sleep routine during the week is off due to insomnia, trying to ‘catch up’ at the weekend can cause even more damage, as extra sleep added on to your mornings can in turn make it harder to fall asleep at night.

‘It is important for insomniacs to avoid trying to catch up on sleep in this way, as part of overcoming insomnia is to build up sleep debt, which is helpful in falling asleep at night,’ Dr Sue explains.

‘For these sufferers, it’s important to establish a regular nightly sleep pattern.

‘Although day time naps and lie-ins are extra tempting, they contribute to a perpetual cycle of night time insomnia and daytime napping, so the more you sleep in the daytime, the less you sleep at night, which increases your insomnia and the cycle continues.’

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The key, as boring as it may sound, is having a regular bedtime and wake time – and trying your best to stick to it throughout the week and weekend.

As an incentive, it’s worth noting that this can make your skin look loads better, too.

‘A good nightly sleep pattern rather than catching an extra forty winks here and there is necessary for good skin health and to ensure that we are getting the most from our sleep,’ Chris Luckham, head of education for Foreo skincare, tells us.

‘Skin renewal and repair takes place overnight when we sleep. The body produces collagen, an essential protein needed to prevent sagging and wrinkles.

‘Research shows that sleeping seven to nine hours a night can reduce fine lines and wrinkles by up to 50%, compared to getting less than five hours at night. In particular, our undereye area benefits from healthy sleep patterns.’

So, better skin, reduced eye bags, and all the usual mental and physical health benefits come from having a decent sleep routine, sans the weekend lie-ins.

If you’re still in bed right now, you might want to get up and at ’em.

If you continue to suffer from sleep anxiety, please consult your GP or a sleep specialist.

The best sleep-boosting buys

Keen to improve your sleep? Try our pick of the best sleep-boosting products…

Spacemasks self-heating eye masks five-pack

(Picture: Amazon)

We know what you’re thinking: Can some warm eye masks really make that big a difference when it comes to drifting off?

The answer is yes. Yes, they can.

The warmth of these eyemasks plus their lavender scent is super soothing, while the small amount of weight on your eyelids helps to tell your brain it’s time to snooze.

Honestly, it’s tricky to explain just how great these are for times when you’re struggling to fall asleep. Buy a pack and try them. You won’t regret it.

Buy for £19.21 here

Weighted blanket

(Picture: Mela)

Are you being kept up by anxiety? A weighted blanket can make a massive difference in soothing your mind and body.

Expect the deepest sleep ever.

Buy for £74.50 (down from £139.97)

Sleepy Body Lotion

(Picture: Lush)

One of our favourites – this is a super soothing cream that you can smother yourself in the next time you’re struggling to drift off.

Buy for £10 from Lush

5-HTP+ by FutureYou Cambridge

(Picture: FutureYou Cambridge)

This supplement uses 5-HTP, an amino acid produced by the body by tryptophan, saffron, which some studies suggest improves sleep quality, B6, and lavender oil, all of which are claimed to help you drift off.

You can get a free 28-day trial here, then a box costs £14.40 a month.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

(Picture: Amazon/Metro.co.uk)

‘This stuff is like magic,’ wrote one reviewer. ‘Absolutely amazing, I’m so pleased i bought it.

‘I’ve had issues with sleeping my whole life and tried nearly everything under the sun to try and aid my sleep.

‘I had my eye on this product for a while but was hesitant to buy because of the price, however I finally caved and it’s worth every penny!’

Buy for £13.87 from Amazon

Knee pillow

(Picture: Amazon)

For side sleepers!

Buy for £16.95

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.

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