The consequences of sleep deprivation are numerous, and troubling to say the least. The short term effects of sleep deprivation include decreased cognitive function, anxiety, reduced vision and moodiness. The long term effects include heart disease, obesity, depression, and many other serious health issues. It goes without saying that nobody wants to be sleep deprived, but unfortunately, with the busy schedule that accompanies most of our lives, sleep often gets put on the back-burner, which leads many of us to say the following statement: “I’ll just catch up on my sleep over the weekend.”
So, is catching up on sleep a real thing? Or is it just a concept we’ve created to make ourselves feel better about not getting enough sleep during the week?
Surprisingly enough, you actually can catch up on sleep, but not the way you might think. Making up for a sleep deficit takes time and commitment, and is not something that can be done over a weekend.
If you are partially sleep deprived, your body may require more than the standard 8 hours of sleep each night to get back on track. If you listen to your body and consistently sleep for an additional few hours, over time, you can return to your natural sleep pattern.
What you can’t do, however, is cure your sleep deprivation by sleeping for 15 hours on a Saturday night. You also can’t make up for a long stint of insufficient sleep in the past, at that point, the damage has been done. The key is to act quickly and respond to your body’s signals when trying to correct a sleep deficit.
Ultimately, what your body craves is consistency in your sleep schedule, which is why a regular cadence of sufficient sleep will always produce a better quality of life then going back and forth between varying lengths of sleep.Are you sleeping 7-8 hours every night, but still not feeling rested? Did you know that snoring has a major effect on how well you sleep? Learn how snoring affects your sleep cycle.