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Sleep Debt: Can You Actually Catch Up On Sleep?

As if we don’t already have normal financial debt to worry about – we also have to repay our sleep debt!

What Is Sleep Debt?

So we already know that we need sleep to function properly. Lack of sleep makes us drowsy, increases our stress levels, has a negative effect on our cognitive functions such as memory and reaction times, and has also been linked to poor mood maintenance. Chronic sleep deprivation has also been found to increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. And you make more driving mistakes! Yep, yikes.

But on a normal work week, it’s easy to stay up to late at night, sleep after a good long session of staring at our devices, and then get up for work in the morning, subsist on multiple rounds of coffee throughout the day, and crash in the evening. Rinse and repeat.

On weekends, many of us sleep in to catch up on our lost sleep during the weekdays. According to sleep debt theory, this strategy is sound. Catch up on sleep during the weekends, repay your sleep debt, then voilà! Back to your baseline health and cognitive function.

It might not be that simple. (Is there anything in life that is?)

Sure, you might experience less sleepiness, but a study showed that even after a few nights of 8-hour sleep, impaired attention levels in participants didn’t improve. It’s not a conclusive strike against sleep debt theory, but it might point to another factor that we haven’t considered.

What you may not know – like regular debt, sleep debt has got its own balance sheet.

That means it can build up over time. Sleeping more on weekends can work to pay off your sleep debt only if you’ve missed out on a few hours during the weekday. But if you’ve got a big balance to pay off? Buddy.

What You Can Do

If you’re losing out on sleep, does it help if we tell you you’re not alone? Probs not. But yeah, developed countries can lose out on millions of dollars per year due to health care costs and loss of productivity due to chronic sleep deprivation.

We would tell you to take regular naps more often, but unless you’re a uni student with ample amounts of free/procrastination time on your hands, that’s not a viable option.

We probably sound like a broken record by now, but: practice better sleep hygiene. Just as sleep debt adds up, good sleeping habits built up over time will add up, too.

Need a comfier, bigger bed for catching up on your sleep? California King Beds has got you covered. 😉

Alternatively, contact us for any enquiries about California King beds.

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