"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Weekend catch-up sleep won't fix the consequences of lack of sleep in your back.

Sleeping late on a Saturday sounds delicious, right? However, like many delicious things, your health and waistline can come at a price.

Catching up on sleep on the weekends can almost feel just like the norm nowadays. With increasingly full schedules and competing demands, sleep is commonly sacrificed through the busy work week. As the week ends, many individuals look to a less structured weekend to make amends for what can't be done through the week, including sleep. At the Sleep Clinic, I now ask “What time do you get up on work (or school) days?” And “What about sleeping and waking times on vacation days?” Catch-up time — perhaps waking up at 6 a.m. for the workday, but 11 a.m. on the weekend — will be closer to a full weeknight's sleep. But what does it matter? We're paying back our sleep debt, right?

Our average hours of sleep can hide our weekly sleep debt.

Despite the undeniable fact that the variety of hours of sleep, when averaged, can reach the seven to nine hours per night beneficial by most skilled societies, the “average” may mask some truths. Daily quantity, quality, and bedtime/wake time regularity all appear to be vital. Oh A recent paper I Current biology It seems that our sleep isn't as forgiving because it seems to be at easier times. The researchers found that subjects who lost five hours of sleep through the week, but compensated for it with extra sleep on the weekend, still paid off. These costs included measurable differences in: higher caloric intake after dinner, decreased energy expenditure, weight gain, and harmful changes in the way in which the body uses insulin. Although sleep debt was addressed on paper, the weekend catch-up subjects had similar results (although there have been some differences) to those that were sleep-deprived on the weekend without catch-up sleep.

New research is a reminder that you may't cheat sleep and avoid it

First, lack of sleep, even just through the work week, has potentially real health consequences. Sleep is an often ignored factor when considering the danger of chronic disease, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and even death. There is plenty of information, incl A recent review I Sleep medicine, suggesting that too little sleep is a risk factor for these conditions in addition to obesity. Unfortunately, this latest study shows that increasing sleep over the weekend doesn't reverse the consequences of short sleep.

Second, whether the effect on health is solely as a result of sleep deprivation, or along with changes in bedtime on the weekend—”jet lag” at home—is unknown. The effect of essentially jumping time zones by waking up later and sleeping in on weekends can exacerbate the issue. Other behaviors, reminiscent of eating or drinking on the weekends, also confuse the body's rhythms.

What are you able to do to enhance your night's sleep?

As with many medicines, prevention appears to be the perfect strategy. While we will't reverse the consequences of short sleep by attempting to get more sleep on the weekend, we will attempt to get a bit more sleep at night through the week and improve that behavior. Which leads to raised sleep.

It's vital to maintain a reasonably consistent bedtime and wake-up time through the weekend, which may also help reduce the jet lag effect. A brief nap of 15 to twenty minutes can assist relieve sleepiness, but shouldn’t interfere with a daily bedtime and wake-up time. For some, keeping a sleep log to trace sleep patterns will be eye-opening and supply accountability, as can tracking food decisions and behaviors around food in weight reduction. Help could also be available. Finally, consider reframing your relationship with sleep and making it a priority. Sleep is preventative medicine – we understand it helps reduce illness and improve your on a regular basis health.