With most of us settling with less than eight hours of sleep daily, it’s no surprise that many of us have already accumulated a massive amount of sleep debt. All those nights that you’ve pulled an all-nighter to beat a deadline or stayed up way too late to watch an extra episode or two of your favorite TV show will totally catch up to you, leaving you feeling groggy and tired while at work.
While it isn’t necessary that you sleep for more than seven or eight hours daily (as some folks can do well with just six hours of nightly sleep), it is important for everyone to get the right amount of sleep. However, there are still those times that losing sleep is inevitable. So in days like these, many ask whether it is really possible to catch up on your shuteye.
So, can you really repay your sleep debt? According to some experts, you actually can, but not in one snooze fest. What you can do is to sleep an extra hour or two per night. These evenings are called recovery nights, as you will be recovering from your sleep loss.
Be cautious when catching up on your sleep debt, though. Especially if you’re chronically sleep deprived, sleeping the weekend away may seem attractive but wouldn’t be ideal and may only damage your sleeping pattern even more by affecting your Circadian rhythm. However, sleeping in a little bit won’t hurt. Just make sure to sleep naturally on the weekends – go to bed when you’re tired and wake up without the aid of an alarm clock. Natural sleep will help mend your Circadian rhythm and could reset your sleeping patterns easily, thus helping you improve your sleep hygiene in the long run.
The best cure for sleep debt is prevention. Try improving your sleeping habits and you will surely find yourself in better health.