I am a teacher, so I have to go to work early in the morning. I use a dawn simulator, and a light box, for 20 minutes in the morning when I first wake up. This maintains my ability to get up early and feel energetic during the day. However, because my job is demanding, I would like to sleep a few extra hours on the weekends. From experience, napping in the afternoon is a mistake as I feel groggy. Also, I know missing my regular wake up time is a big mistake. I would like to get up and do my regular light time, and then go back to sleep for a few hours. Would this seriously disturb my overall sleep pattern? I want the extra sleep but not at the expense of my mental wellbeing.

In general, it is best to maintain a regular bedtime, and wake up time, even on the weekends, to ensure you remain in sync with the environment. In your situation, however, we recommend a short nap of 30 minutes during the day: this restricted duration is restorative, yet produces minimal grogginess (“sleep inertia”) when you wake up.  Set your cellphone timer to alert you to get up, and don’t nap once evening approaches. If you do feel groggy after the nap, you could drink a caffeinated beverage immediately upon awakening.

This entry was posted in FAQs. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply