Can You Ever "Catch Up On your Sleep"?


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Everyone can relate to the exhaustion that is experienced after pulling an all-nighter, studying for an exam, or after staying out way too late parting with friends. The exhaustion definitely catches up on us and can really wear one down. What is the common solution to being over-tired? Catching up on sleep! But, do we ever get those hours back? Will a ten or twelve hour good nights rest the next day actually catch you up? Can we ever gain back those lost hours of sleep?

The article "Catching up on lost sleep a dangerous illusion" explains that staying up for 24 hours is bad enough, but sleeping for less than six hours a night for an extended period of time (two or three weeks) is even worse. Having an extreme loss of sleep in a short amount of time can be made up by one long sleep session, whereas being sleep deprived for weeks takes a lot longer to make up. "It is unknown how many nights of good sleep it takes to recover from this longer-term component" - Elizabeth Weis.

In 2003, scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research did a study on this. The experiment looked at people who had a week of poor sleep and then after had three days of at least eight hours of sleep each night. The result of the study showed that the three days of being well-rested did not help them fully reverse their decline in performance on reaction time and other tasks from the week of poor sleep.

In a more recent study from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, it showed that you can actually prepare for an upcoming sleep debt by "banking" some hours of sleep before you don't get enough sleep rather than only trying to make up for it afterwards.

The studies show that paying off a sleep debt is not as easy sleeping in on the weekends. It takes a lot longer to catch up on our sleep than we think. I still wonder if we can fully repair the damage done from nights of not enough sleep. How would we be affected if we would consistently get a good night's rest every other night but not get enough sleep the nights in-between instead of a long period of not enough sleep followed by a long period of a good nights rest? Maybe we can catch up on some rest, but never complete recover? I guess the lesson learned from this is that we should strive to get those 8 hours of sleep every night instead of trying to "catch up" on our rest later on.

 

10 Comments

This article just reminded of my roommate.Frankly speaking,he's a out-and-out night owl.Because we share an apartment,I get the chance to observe his routines.Either watching videos on the computer or hanging out nowhere,he rarely,if at all,sleeps before 3am.You can imagine,in the morning,he will oblige to get a late wakeup.But if he chances to be unlucky to have a morning class,he has to crawl out of bed,and draw his heavy legs as well as foggy brain for a new day of school.I personally dislike this life style.I would rather get sufficient sleeps rather than drown myself into some meaninngless--or let's just say unimportant to be less harsh--activites at nights.I know he is used to that clock,but he certainly doesn't know the potential harm of make-up sleeps.

This article just reminded of my roommate.Frankly speaking,he's a out-and-out night owl.Because we share an apartment,I get the chance to observe his routines.Either watching videos on the computer or hanging out nowhere,he rarely,if at all,sleeps before 3am.You can imagine,in the morning,he will oblige to get a late wakeup.But if he chances to be unlucky to have a morning class,he has to crawl out of bed,and draw his heavy legs as well as foggy brain for a new day of school.I personally dislike this life style.I would rather get sufficient sleeps rather than drown myself into some meaninngless--or let's just say unimportant to be less harsh--activites at nights.I know he is used to that clock,but he certainly doesn't know the potential harm of make-up sleeps.

This blog really interest me because I often wonder if I could ever wake up one morning and not be tired. I am always tired in the morning no matter how early I go to sleep. My roommate is even worst. She really scares me. I think there is something wrong with her sleeping cycle because she can literally sleep all day and fall asleep within minutes. She also sleeps through her obnoxious alarms. Her alarms in the morning are seriously the sound of five fire trucks, police cars and helicopters. Living with her makes me curious if one can stay stuck in a deep sleep for a long period of time without being in a comma. I am not sure if catching up on sleep works for me though because I am always tired. I think an interest idea is when people our age function the best and why is it that generally our age group are not morning people. Here is a short article about college students and sleep deprivation.

This blog really interest me because I often wonder if I could ever wake up one morning and not be tired. I am always tired in the morning no matter how early I go to sleep. My roommate is even worst. She really scares me. I think there is something wrong with her sleeping cycle because she can literally sleep all day and fall asleep within minutes. She also sleeps through her obnoxious alarms. Her alarms in the morning are seriously the sound of five fire trucks, police cars and helicopters. Living with her makes me curious if one can stay stuck in a deep sleep for a long period of time without being in a comma. I am not sure if catching up on sleep works for me though because I am always tired. I think an interest idea is when people our age function the best and why is it that generally our age group are not morning people. Here is a short article about college students and sleep deprivation.

This blog really interest me because I often wonder if I could ever wake up one morning and not be tired. I am always tired in the morning no matter how early I go to sleep. My roommate is even worst. She really scares me. I think there is something wrong with her sleeping cycle because she can literally sleep all day and fall asleep within minutes. She also sleeps through her obnoxious alarms. Her alarms in the morning are seriously the sound of five fire trucks, police cars and helicopters. Living with her makes me curious if one can stay stuck in a deep sleep for a long period of time without being in a comma. I am not sure if catching up on sleep works for me though because I am always tired. I think an interest idea is when people our age function the best and why is it that generally our age group are not morning people. Here is a short article about college students and sleep deprivation.

This blog really interest me because I often wonder if I could ever wake up one morning and not be tired. I am always tired in the morning no matter how early I go to sleep. My roommate is even worst. She really scares me. I think there is something wrong with her sleeping cycle because she can literally sleep all day and fall asleep within minutes. She also sleeps through her obnoxious alarms. Her alarms in the morning are seriously the sound of five fire trucks, police cars and helicopters. Living with her makes me curious if one can stay stuck in a deep sleep for a long period of time without being in a comma. I am not sure if catching up on sleep works for me though because I am always tired. I think an interest idea is when people our age function the best and why is it that generally our age group are not morning people. Here is a short article about college students and sleep deprivation.

I find this blog to be especially important for us as college students who often stay out late on weekends and up late studying or doing our homework on weekdays. How does this severe lack of sleep as students affect us? This seems to be the topic that you were discussing. Of course being a Penn State student, this makes me also think of THON and all of the dancers who are out on the floor constantly standing and being active for 46 hours. This is a severe version of sleep deprivation. How do they recover from this or is there no way to make up for this great loss of sleep time? I give all of the dancers much credit because this task seems to be a challenging one.

Hi Megan! Your topic is just at the right moment for me since I started learning about "sleep & dreaming" topic in Psychology class today! Well, we actually haven't got "into" the depth of this topic yet, just the general information. As a matter of fact, college student tends to face this exhaustion from NOT having enough sleep (which is a really bad thing). Today in Psychology class, my professor gave one of the most interesting psychological case studies I've ever heard about...Peter Tripp, a guy who wanted to experiment with sleep deprivation and stayed awake for 201 hours in 1959!! After 3 days of staying awake, he began to hallucinate. Later on, he was able to stay awake by the used of drugs from doctors. He concluded that after this sleep deprivation experiment, it changed his life and himself completely (in a negative way). Another example can be seen from one of my friends here at Penn State. He has the weirdest biological clock ever. He always stays up until 6 in the morning and sleep for two hours and then go to class. There were days where he just went straight to bed since 4pm! I still don't see any negative effects through his body or health but who knows, in the long run it might really become worst (just like smoking cigarette that has an affect later on in life). Even to myself, last night, my roommate was coughing a lot so I didn't really get to sleep. Today I feel really exhausted and I know my brain is not really functioning properly. I used to believe that the "catch up on the sleep" cycle is true...but day after day, I don't really think it works. Therefore, we should at least try to get enough sleep in order to power through the whole day (without catching up with all these sleeping routines later on). However, oversleeping can lead to medical problems as well!!

Great blog! As Alicia brought up, I think this is very relevant to college students. Students in the dorms or elsewhere, may have to face slamming doors or people in the halls, and like others brought up, nocturnal roommates. I researched a little bit more about sleep deprivation and college students and I found a great article on what it can do to us and how we can fix the problem. Obviously, a need for naps can occur, a lack of attentiveness, and a decline in academic performance.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fact-or-fiction-can-you-catch-up-on-sleep

This article made me think immediately, why do we even need sleep? It's obvious that we need sleep so we're aware and focused during the day, but how does sleep cause this? I researched this and found that sleeping in ways is similar to eating. They both regulate our internal drives. By eating, we are getting rid of the hunger. If you don't eat you have an overwhelming feeling of hunger that only goes away by eating. Without sleeping you have an overwhelming feeling or tiredness, and to solve it you sleep. But i still wonder why do we sleep at all? We eat to provide our body nutrients and nourishment, but why exactly do we sleep? This is a question that's very hard to answer. We know more about the functions of sleep then about why we actually sleep. I'm interested to find out why human beings need sleep and what it does for our body.

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