Public Holiday Stresses: Body Clock

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This was me in high school, especially post-exams source

Public holidays are often more about the chance to sleep in and "relax' than they are about commemorating the events they honour. In fact, here our braai-loving country they're mostly about getting to sleep in and eating a "lekker" chop later. I used to get frustrated when my body clock wouldn't let me sleep past my daily wake-up time. I also felt very frustrated by how disrupted my sleeping patterns got if I did I manage to sleep in over a long weekend. Yes, I'm one of those women who take their sleep seriously -- it's why I write for this blog.

After a while I stopped fighting my body and woke up when it could no longer sleep -- even if it was 6AM on a Sunday with the next Monday being a public holiday. That's what I'd spent weeks and months training my body for; to be ready to wake up at 6AM and I 've gotten to the point of my life where I'm not willing to sacrifice it just because it's a public holiday. The top sleep tip on the Better Sleep Council's website advocates maintaining  a consistent bedtime and wake up schedule.


I do my best to not stray too far from my bedtime because sleeping late on the nights you don't have an early morning is likely to disturb the sleep-wake cycle and your body clock. It can be the cause of of "Sunday night insomnia", which is the inability to fall asleep because your body was just getting used to the late bedtime.


So what happens then if you get to the point where you no longer force your body to sleep in on holidays and weekends? What do you do with the time? Below are a few of my favourite my-wake-up-time-is-early activities:

1. Yoga. It's a incredible way to relax and tune up for the day.

2. Catch up on work. I know some may think it's bad but there are really not enough hours in the day and if I can get some work out of the way while the boyfriend sleep or before company comes then I take it.

3. Go for a run. I enjoy working out in the morning if I can. Very few things compare to the feel of the morning wind and rising sun on my face while I run.

4. Keep house. I usually clean and do a few loads of laundry on Saturdays because my wake up time is so early cleaning up doesn't interfere with the rest of my day.

5. Read. I do this after yoga and it sets a lovely tone to my day.


Do public holidays and your body clock clash? Please share in the comments section.

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