I was reading another library book on sleep (The Sleep Diet by Dr Carmel Harrington), well skimming, which is a type of reading, and going blah, blah, blah. Nothing new. Checked the publication date. 2012. Too old. Sleep research has moved on.
Also, and I know I shouldn’t hold this against the content but it would account for why I picked this book last to read, the paper is that cheap, rough paper and the print too small and dense. (Fashions in print I thought went out in the 1990s.)
But then I got to this line:
…when you implement change and start getting the hours of sleep that you really need, you may feel, initially, more tired than before, despite the fact that you are sleeping more.
Yes, that’s me every holidays. I thought I’d just caught a dose of lazy holiday fever!
The doctor goes on to say this is not due to too much sleep.
Oh dear. I always have a go at Mr S, telling him off for sleeping too much during holidays and saying that by oversleeping he is causing himself to be more tired and thus sleeping more. And that what he needs to do is sleep less. “So get off the couch on the verandah you lazy thing!!!!”
So what causes the sleepiness when we increase our hours of sleep?
The doctor says it is not understood yet but may be, if our sleep has been habitually short, say six hours, and we increase it to eight hours a “result of both the ‘unmasking’ of our sleep debt and the fact that we stop driving ourselves so hard in order to overcome our sleepiness.”
So it should pass. And we should eventually return to normal rhythms and wake energised.
Except in our house we return to our short sleep patterns as term resumes and then have to catch up every term break when we stop pushing ourselves so feel sleepy again, despite more hours asleep.
A cycle we need to stop.