Back by popular demand, here is part two of the “We Rate Sleep Memes” blog series. If you’re just now tuning in (check out part one here), the title pretty much says it all. We take sleep-related memes we find online, we use them as an excuse to talk about sleep and circadian science, and we rate ’em. Let’s kick it off with:
Here’s the annoying thing: Resting is good. I’m not about to be out here telling you not to rest. In fact, a study that looked at people who regularly sleep less than five hours a night during the work week found that weekend catch-up sleep might help compensate for the bad effects of not sleeping during the week.
What’s annoying is that sleeping in on the weekend can cause its own problems. Basically, you end up jet lagging yourself without actually going anywhere. This “social jet lag” can mess with your mood, grades, metabolism, and lots of other important things.
So the real answer is probably to do everything you can to get to the point where you don’t need to recover sleep on the weekend. Keep to the same schedule, every day. Yeah, yeah, I know—easier said than done, especially with work and life commitments. But if you can make your sleep life more regular, expect it to make a lot of other things in your life better too.
Originality: ⅘ Nice callout to the weekend
Overall quality: ⅘ Dog very cute
Heads up: If you’re doing this, and doing it a lot, you miiight be building up an association between “being in bed” and “not going to sleep.”
Don’t get me wrong, creating imaginary situations that will probably never happen before bed is a time-honored tradition. As far as I know, pretty much everyone does it. Boromir, son of Denethor, isn’t incorrect here.
But it’s a problem if your brain’s whirring so much on your pillow that you start to think of bed more as “the place where I am stressed out about imaginary scenarios” than “the place where I sleep.” That association can make it harder and harder to actually fall asleep when you want to.
If this sounds like you: Get out of bed. Have your imaginary scenario thoughts in a nice chair in the living room somewhere. Keep the lights dim or off altogether as you do it. Wait to get into bed until you’re just about falling over yourself with sleepiness.
Then, when you look like this:
…land right on into bed.
Originality: 2/5 Yes, yes. We all know about Night Thoughts.
Overall quality: ⅘ Boromir very tragic and noble.
Facts o’clock: Your body’s internal clock sends different signals for sleep at different times of the day. These different signals mean you’ll sleep for different lengths of time depending on when you fall asleep.
And since your body’s clock is always updating and adjusting itself, it probably won’t send the same signal at the exact same time every day. This can make it hard to pick up a pattern in why you’re sleeping four hours one nap, and 20 minutes the next.
Another thing that can make it hard to find a pattern? How long you sleep also depends on how much you’ve been awake and asleep recently, on top of the signal from your body’s internal clock. So there are a lot of moving pieces, which can make it seem like you’re playing “nap roulette”, when it’s really “nap you could do a better job of predicting the duration of if you were keeping close tabs on when you’ve been sleeping and the time your body’s clock currently thinks it is.”
*green goblin voice* Listen here, Spiderman: biology is complicated and can seem random, but it might not be as random as you think.
Originality: 3.5/5. Definitely been done before as a topic, but “nap roulette” has strong brand energies.
Overall quality: ⅘. Nice meme. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have a picture I need to sell to J. Jonah Jameson.