I think we have all done it. Overslept. Slept in. Any activity that means you have slept longer than you should. That gentle waking up when your eyes are blurry and you take the first movements of the day. The move of your head to look at your watch. Wandering if you still have time to hit the snooze on the alarm clock. The crash of realisation hitting that you have slept in! The immediate question. Is that the right time? The answer – ‘It can’t be…oh hell it is’. Your stomach churns a little (or a lot depending on why you should be up). Immediate thoughts run through your head asking how this could have happened. You don’t have any answers. Especially when you are this tired!
How did this happen?
In my case(s) it happens because I have turned off, in a sleepy happy haze, my alarm. I clearly did that this morning. I have no excuse. Knowing that this is possible in my sleepy state I always set multiple alarms to ensure I get up. My fail safe strategy didn’t work today. Oops.
The time of year and the weather is important in our sleep patterns. A lack of sun, dark nights and dark mornings can make it difficult to get up. Apparently we can sleep an extra couple of hours in Autumn and for some people SAD can kick in during the winter months.
I don’t suffer badly from SAD but there is definitely some effect due to a lack of light. This can affect most of us. I did have a sunrise alarm thing a while back. I can’t remember why I ditched it but it was probably due to my inner rebellious streak of ignoring things when sleeping 💤.
What to do when it happens
It’s easy to say and harder to do but basically once it has happened you can’t do anything about having slept in. So you might as well own the mistake, admit it and take any consequences on the chin.
Today I wasn’t working so it was a yoga class I missed. I woke up at 9.15am and the class started at 9.30am. Not the worst thing in life but I still feel guilty. Email to instructor has been sent fully admitting the fact that I slept in.
Some previous sleeping in episodes have been worse. There was one occasion a few years ago when I agreed to be the only manager on site at my work. The others were at a development day or something. For a 7.30am start I monumentally managed to sleep in till 10am. Much bigger oops. All the potential excuses I could have made ran through my head that day. I told the truth…quickly! It was very embarrassing. It still gets mentioned.
Embarrassing but also funny. People appreciate the truth and you might as well own it and tell the story before others do. Like I said, everyone has slept in at some point.
What not to do when you have slept in
Don’t panic. There is nothing you can do once it’s done. I would say don’t lie but I get that a ‘dentist’ excuse might be a good way to explain things. Don’t take the day off sick. There is nothing worse than extending your feelings of guilt into a whole day.
One last bit of advice. Whatever you do, don’t hit snooze tomorrow!