Can you compensate for missed sleep the next night or sometime else? The easy answer is- yes. If you’ve got to get up early for office work on a Friday, then sleep in till a little late on Saturday, you will mostly recover your missed sleep time. Sleep is a restorative activity- while you sleep, your brain is cataloging information and healing your body. It decides what is important to carry onto, and what are often useless. Your brain creates new pathways that facilitate your navigation of the day ahead. Sleeping also heals and repairs your blood vessels and heart.
That being said, catching up with a missed night of sleep is not quite identical to getting the sleep you needed in the night in the first place. After you catch up, it takes time for your body to recover. It takes four days to completely get over one hour of lost sleep. Having continuous nights of less sleep creates a “sleep deficit,” making it harder to catch good sleep and increasing the likelihood of sleep disorders.
What is a sleep deficit?
The amount of your time you sleep is like putting money in a checking account. Whenever you don’t get enough, it’s withdrawn and needs to be repaid. When you are in chronic sleep debt, you can never really catch up properly. Every adult needs around 7-8 hours of sleep every night, but most don’t get it. This can be thanks to many factors, like school responsibilities, long work hours, and increased use of electronics like smartphones. Many people think they will get lost sleep on the weekends. However, if you sleep too long on Saturday and Sunday, it’s difficult to make it to bed on time on Sunday night. The deficit then continues into the following week.
Chronically losing sleep has the potential to cause many health problems and long-term sleep disorders. It can put you at an increased risk for diabetes, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure. You may even have higher levels of cortisol- a stress hormone. This will result in anger, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Additionally, drowsiness increases your risk of falling asleep behind the wheels while driving and causing an accident.
Avoiding Sleep Debt
The easiest way you can avoid the consequences of lost sleep is to avoid accumulating sleep debt from the beginning only. Find out how much sleep your body needs and prioritize sleep- make it your number one objective every day. While the number of hours of sleep can vary from person to person, most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Children and teenagers need even more sleep to support their bodies as they grow and develop.
It may look like sacrificing a bit of sleep to check on someone or work some more hours helps you get more satisfied, but remember that getting sufficient sleep improves cognitive performance and allows you to be more focused and efficient during the day. Here are some more ideas for improving your sleep hygiene to cut back the probabilities of accumulating sleep debt:
Keep a daily sleep schedule
Maintaining a daily sleep schedule allows you to prioritize sleep and confirm that you are getting sufficient rest. If you would like to change your sleep schedule to a healthy one, go to bed slowly by changing it in 30- to 60-minute increments daily or weekly. Soon you will get into a proper schedule.
Develop a nightly routine
Having a nightly bedtime routine allows your body to relax and ready oneself for quality sleep. Set an alarm for half-hour to an hour before bed to remind you to dim the lights, close up electronics, and find a soothing activity. Get a warm bath, engage in some light stretching, and use music to wind down for the day.
Consider daytime habits
If you’re chronically underslept, rethink any daytime activities that are contributing to your sleeping problems. Confirm that you are getting enough daylight and exercise during the day, not drinking caffeine too close to bedtime, and restricting activities in your bed to only sleep and sex. Limiting screen time before sleeping can also help reduce sleep issues.
Improve the bedroom environment
Optimize your bedroom environment for sleep. Keep the temperature comfortable for sleeping, block out any lights or noises that may keep you awake with Livpure’s blackout curtains, and consider replacing your mattress, pillow, or sheets if they are getting older or uncomfortable. Shop from the range of mattresses- memory foam mattress, latex mattress, reversible foam mattress, etc., and a variety of pillows on Livpure’s website. This summers, invest in cooling gel technology equipped bedding for better, sweat-free sleep.
Sometimes losing sleep is unavoidable. Whether it is due to a demanding work schedule or a late night with family or friends and socializing with them, it is important to own an idea for recovering from lost sleep. Fortunately, with patience and consistency, people can get over sleep debt and regain the advantages of being well-slept again.
The good news is that, like all debt, with some work and consistency, the sleep debt can be often repaid- though it won’t happen in one extended snooze marathon. Getting an additional hour or two of sleep an evening is something towards catching up. For the chronically sleep-deprived, take it easy for some months to get back to a natural and healthy sleep pattern. Go to bed once you are tired, and permit your body to wake you in the morning without an alarm. You will end up catatonic at the beginning of the recovery cycle. Expect to get upward of ten hours shut-eye per night. As the days pass with this routine, your amount of sleep will naturally start to reduce.
For recovery sleep, both the hours slept and also the intensity of the sleep are important. A number of your most refreshing sleep occurs during deep sleep. Although such sleep’s true effects are still being studied, it is generally considered a restorative period for the brain. And once you sleep more hours, you permit your brain to spend longer during this rejuvenating period.
So, earn back that lost sleep- and follow the need of your health and sleep as a priority. You will feel better. When you get rid of and recover from sleep debt, you become superhuman. It happens with the improved mental and physical capabilities that include being well-rested. Finally, an excuse to get some extra hours of sleep every night!