Friday, August 30, 2013

Can people "catch up" on lost sleep?

This article claims that the idea of "catch up" on lost sleep is a myth.

Has "catching up" on sleep as a means to get your body and mind back to normal after going for days without been scientifically proven ineffective?
TRUE: You may feel better, but your body and mind won’t be as sharp as if you regularly got enough
Many people try to "catch up" on an extra couple hours of rest following a busy, sleepless week. But a sleep specialist told MSN News that those extra hours of slumber aren't as effective as you think.
Kevin Taylor, director of the Sleep Disorder Center at Cullman Regional Medical Center in Alabama, said the physical and mental toll of missing out on sustained lack of sleep won't just go away after getting one full night's worth.
"You can smoke for 30 years and quit today. Will you prolong your life? Yes. Has the damage already been done? Yes. Same thing with sleep," he said. "You miss a night's sleep, the damage to your body is still done."
The Huffington Post reported on a recent study, published in the American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism, that found sleeping in for three nights after six nights of deprivation won’t improve the sharpness of brain performance, which can affect reaction time during activities like driving or playing sports.
The study is one of several that have explored "sleep debt" — the mental and physical toll that occurs when you don’t get enough rest. Scientific American wrote: "A 2005 survey by the National Sleep Foundation reports that, on average, Americans sleep 6.9 hours per night — 6.8 hours during the week and 7.4 hours on the weekends. Generally, experts recommend eight hours of sleep per night … that means on average, we're losing one hour of sleep each night — more than two full weeks of slumber every year."
Taylor said that getting proper sleep means eliminating certain practices, including keeping the television on during bedtime and consuming caffeine late.
"You don't just want the hours, you want quality of sleep," he said. "You need to train your body that when you get in the bedroom, it's time to sleep."
Read more here

No comments: