Ever wonder if you are going to get caught up on all that lost sleep? Most of us go and go until we just can’t anymore. We trade sleep for television, work, partying, or hobbies. We assume that when the weekend comes around, we will get caught up. But do we ever?
For a long time, experts have been saying that you can’t get back the sleep you’ve lost.
Even if you sleep in on the weekend or sleep for a couple days, you just can’t make up for the sleep you didn’t get the night before. Sleep scientist Michael Walker said:
“Sleep is not like the bank. You can’t accumulate a debt and pay it off at a later point in time. If I were to deprive you of sleep an entire night, and then in a subsequent night give you all the sleep you want, you never get back all that you’ve lost. You will sleep longer, but you will never achieve that full eight-hour repayment. The brain has no capacity to get back that lost sleep.”
However, a recent study shows that the effects of insufficient sleep over the week could actually be countered by a later lie-in on the weekend.
Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University looked at data collected from more than 43,000 adults in Sweden in 1997. They then checked the national death register to see what happened to participants over 13 years.
They found that adults under age 65 who got only five hours of sleep or less a night for seven days a week had a higher risk of early death than those who consistently got six or seven hours.
But those who made up for it on the weekend by sleeping in had no raised mortality risk compared with the steady sleepers.
Lead researcher Torbjorn Akerstedt explained:
“The results imply that short (weekday) sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep. This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend and that this has implications for mortality.”
The researchers found that the average amount of sleep over a lifetime had more effect on the mortality risk than what hours or days the sleep occurred.
Elise Facer-Childs, a research fellow at the University of Birmingham, said:
“I would say that it is all about getting the right balance. Yes, if you are extremely sleep-deprived during the week, then continuing that over the weekend isn’t ideal, and maybe you should think about getting a few more hours.”
She also explained that getting sleep sooner rather than later is a good idea.
“If you’re sleep deprived, it is probably better to try and fall asleep earlier than get up later. Although our social commitments at the weekend tend to prevent us from doing this.”
Not getting enough sleep can lead to a lot of health problems and complications. It has been linked to obesity, heart disease, depression, lower sex drive, infertility, and poor concentration. The body needs sleep, and depriving yourself of it won’t do you any good.
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You don’t need a sleep study to tell you that you are tired or that you need sleep; just listen to your body.
If you are moody, tired, achy, and are having a hard time concentrating or focusing on daily activities, you may need to get some more sleep at night.
Turn off the television, flip off the light, and put down the book. Let yourself sleep and stop fighting it. If you are having a hard time falling asleep at night, talk to your doctor about medication that can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep through the night. Sleep is a good thing, and your body needs it in order to stay healthy and function properly. Make sure you get your eight hours in tonight.
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Source: Business Insider