Can you really "catch up on sleep" over weekends or vacation?

Posted at 6:23 PM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-28 18:23:33-05

Experts say you can make-up lost sleep, but there’s a catch because for every hour you lost, you actually need to sleep that exact same amount.  

So if you’ve lost 1 hour every night for 5 nights, you are now behind 5 hours.

To make up that time, you now need to sleep an additional 5 extra hours.  That’s pretty hard to do even on the weekend. 

Adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. 

Millions of Americans are not getting what they should. Many are so used to sleeping less they’ve adjusted to living with fogginess, irritability and inefficiency.  

They’ve forgotten how it good it feels to not be sleep-deprived.

Afternoon naps are a good way to add sleep time back in. 

Keep afternoon naps between 10 and 30 minutes because long naps can interfere with your nighttime sleep. 

If you have trouble sleeping at night, or suffer with insomnia, then you should skip daytime naps.

To improve your sleep habits:

  1. Listen to your body. When you’re tired, head to bed.
  2. Watch your caffeine intake after 2 p.m. The stimulating effects can take hours to wear off.
  3. Don’t set an alarm on your day’s off or the weekend. Let your body wake up when it wants to.
  4. Turn off your cell phone and other devices one hour before bed. Screen time can be stimulating and hurt your sleep.

Lack of sleep can really impact your health. 

You are more likely to get sick and take longer to recover from that illness. 

Not enough sleep over long periods of time makes you more at risk for heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Studies have also linked sleep deprivation to Alzheimer’s disease. So be your own health hero and make sleep a priority!