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The Myth of Catching Up on Sleep
When powering through the week on little more than a few hours of sleep and extra shots of espresso, many of us often make up our rest hours on the weekend, sleeping in until noon. However, this is not a healthy habit to maintain long term.
It is actually counterproductive to attempt to make up your sleep in some cases. Studies have shown that you can make up five hours of sleep on the weekend lost during the week. However, you cannot recover sleep if you’ve lost over 20 hours. An attempt to make up a higher number of hours would actually make you more impaired in your cognition and reaction than if you had pulled an all-nighter. Sleeping in late on the weekends also throws off your regular schedule and makes it harder to fall asleep at the end of the day.
There is ultimately no adequate lifestyle mechanism for dealing with missing out on sleep. The best solution is to maintain an adequate quantity and quality of sleep during the week with minimal deficits. A longer duration of sleep allows for more hours of deep sleep, which are the most conducive to recovery.