Myth Busters: I Can Catch Up On Sleep

Myth Busters: I Can Catch Up On Sleep

We all know by now that a lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

But did you know that you can’t offset that lack of sleep by getting more sleep the following evening?

It is a common myth that you can catch up on that sleep deficit but according to the Sleep Foundation, sleeping in for a morning or two may help, it's often not enough.

Research has shown that it can take up to four days to recover from one hour of lost sleep and up to nine days to eliminate sleep debt. 

The thing is it is usually a reoccurring problem. You don’t get enough sleep Monday-Friday, so you sleep in on the weekends or you play hard on the weekends and try to catch up during the week. Because you are constantly in a state of lack of sleep and trying to recover, your body doesn’t have the time to reverse the issues that your lack of sleep is causing.

Changing your sleep habits so that getting a bad night’s sleep is not a normal occurrence is what will allow your body to get to work on healing the issues that sleep deficit has caused.

Here are some tips to help you get a better nights sleep:

  1. Regular exercise during daylight hours is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  2. Create an evening routine on your work nights so that you will be in bed at a time that will allow you to get those 8 hours of zzz’s
  3. Read a book before bed rather than watching television or going through your social feeds on your phone or tablet.
  4. No caffeine after 3 pm
  5. Avoid alcohol before bed, as it can reduce nighttime melatonin production and lead to disrupted sleep.
  6. Take a relaxing bath or shower
  7. Lastly, try to get into a regular sleep/wake cycle, even on the weekends.

If you are interested in optimal health and well-being, it’s recommended that you make creating good sleep habits a top priority.

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