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CAN YOU RECATCH LOST SLEEP?

Do you ever wonder if you can catch up on your sleep?

This idea is like a scene in a mobster movie. When the clock strikes midnight, there is a knock at your front door. It’s Mr. Sandman, the boss. He tells you what you already knew. He’s awake and waiting for you.

You begin to make all sorts of excuses. You’re late for work because of a large project. You are stressed about the cost of braces for your daughter. You panic in desperate need and even call your partner in bed: “It’s no fault of mine, Mr. Sandman!” John snores like a horse. He keeps me awake! He keeps me up at night! Blame him!”

Shame on yourself. It doesn’t matter what reason you have for not sleeping well. It’s your responsibility to get enough sleep. You’ll eventually have to pay.

A bit melodramatic? Sure. You can get into serious trouble if you don’t get enough sleep, even a little each night. A lack of sleep can cause mood changes, cognitive problems, and declines in physical performance. Think about irritability and impaired driving, as well as difficulty remembering things. Sleep deprivation can lead to more serious health problems like depression, obesity, and heart disease. For the privilege of being awake for a few more hours each week, it’s a high price.

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The Better Sleep Council recommends adults get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. A 2014 survey was conducted by Better Sleep Council and found that less than half (48%) reported that they got that much sleep on weekdays. The Stanford University Sleep Clinic calls this the difference between how much sleep you should get each night and how much you actually get.

The Weekend Rebound

Many people use weekends to pay off the sleep debt they have accumulated during the week. Our 2014 survey found that 65% of respondents get at least seven hours of sleep on weekends, which is 17% more than the weekday average.

These results are supported by other research: In 2018, a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research surveyed 38,000 Swedish adults over 13 years. It found that getting enough sleep on weekends can help to offset some of the health effects of not sleeping well during the week.

Although sleeping in on weekends can help reduce your sleep debt, it is not a panacea.

Book a Staycation

Although you may be able to quickly overcome temporary sleep debt by adding an hour or two more of weekend sleep on weekends, it is not possible to restore your sleep quality after a long hibernation session. If you have been sleeping less than your normal sleep schedule for many months or years, it can take some time to return to your natural pattern.

Harvard Medical School experts recommend that you reset your brain by taking a vacation without any agenda or taxing activities. You can go to bed when you feel tired. Unplug your alarm and let your body naturally wake you up. You may start to sleep for only 10 or 12 hours at first. Your body will eventually find the right amount of sleep for you as it learns to eliminate your sleep debt.

Avoiding the sleep Yo-Yo

It’s crucial to learn how much sleep each night you really need and make sleep a part of your daily life so that you don’t fall back into sleep debt.

  • You can schedule your day so that you go to bed and get up on a regular schedule that gives you enough time to be in bed.
  • To help you fall asleep faster, establish a good bedtime routine.
  • You should ensure that an old mattress doesn’t hinder you from getting quality rest.
  • Your bedroom should be set up as an ideal sleeping environment.
  • You may still feel tired even after a long day in bed. Ask your doctor if there is a treatment for you.

What about Naps?

An afternoon power nap is a great way to make up for lost sleep. Make sure you aren’t sleeping in a bad way. Do not let your sleep schedule interfere with your nighttime sleep. Deep, slow-wave sleep cycles are the best for rejuvenation. These sleep cycles can only be reached over longer periods.

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