Delayed Phase Syndrome

The Monday Blues – Similar to jet lag?

I have the Monday Blues- why?

Assuming it’s not after super bowl Sunday with too much food and alcohol, and you just stay awake longer and sleep in on the weekends (as many people do), it’s what sleep doctor’s call a “Delayed Phase Syndrome”. It is similar to the feeling of jet lag. Our brains are not on a twenty four hour clock. We are closer to twenty six hours. So what?

If your regular sleep schedule is from eleven PM to seven AM Missouri time, and you travel to California, all you need to do is stay awake two hours longer and sleep in two hours longer to be on par with your usual routine. Very easy.

Now, consider this: This is one AM to nine PM Missouri time, which may be closer to your weekend sleep schedule if you go to a party or just have a different routine on the weekends. Our brains find it easy to go “west” (stay awake on weekends) up to two hours longer, but can only come back “east” (wake up earlier / working Monday through Friday) about fifteen minutes per night. For every two hours we go “west” it would take about eight days to get back “east”. Unfortunately we usually only work five days so we never fully make it back.

In the example above if you sleep in for two hours on Saturday and Sunday morning, it’s like your brain travels to California. Sunday night when you want to fall asleep at eleven PM your brain says to you “for you it’s eleven for me its nine PM good luck”.

The answer is simple never sleep in no matter how late you stay awake. It’s the sleep in time that sends you “west”.

Have a great weekend, be safe, and “Do you best to get your rest!”

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Tri County Sleep Medicine

4200 N Cloverleaf Suite G

Saint Peters, MO 63376




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