It is the weekend. Put away your pencils and raise your glasses to the sky. Finally, we can relax and celebrate the achievements of the grey weekdays or, for the unfortunate, forget our sorrows. May this night never end, close your eyes only when the first rays of the sun touch the cathedral of Lund. This is the weekend philosophy of a student in Lund. It is fun, and I would never recommend you stop, but I will answer the question of why you are still tired Thursday morning.
None of us are unfamiliar with the struggle of waking up on a Monday morning. Nothing feels better than warm sheets in a cold room. Even though it is a challenge, you justify the struggle to drag yourself out of bed with the festive weekend you just had. But for each morning that passes, the party becomes more distant, and the justification gets harder. “Why am I still tired?” you ask yourself. The neuroscientist Jonathan Cedernaes has the answer. In an interview with SVT, Cedernaes explains that there is a price to pay for dancing until the early hours and sleeping in on weekends. This destructive phenomenon is called “social jetlag”. He describes it as constantly jumping between different time zones. As you can imagine this is not optimal neither for our health nor for our productivity. Cedernaes continues to explain that our alertness, immune system, and how well we are thinking depend on the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is the physical and mental processes that respond to light and your sleep cycle. Social jetlag disturbs these natural processes.
It takes a couple of days to recover from the social jetlag. The optimal condition for the body is a regular schedule, eating and waking up at the same time every day, with no weekend exception. However, the Lunda weekend philosophy, which also includes an exceptional (or unexceptional) Wednesday night out, means that our bodies never have the time to truly recover and are struggling during the week.
To conclude, it might be clever to stay home during the weekend before your examination, but where is the fun in that? Life is not supposed to be ruled by the well-known Professor Shellback’s (Skalman) eat-and-sleep clock. We are students in Lund, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We have heated discussions in one-room apartments, and parties at Sparta until dawn. The best memories are exhausting to create. Therefore, be happy next Thursday morning, when you barely can open your eyes and wonder why you are still tired. You are one of the lucky ones!