Can you catch up on sleep deprivation? A new study investigated how quickly people can recover from lost sleep.
The study authors suggest that catch-up sleep is not an efficient to prevent sleep restriction.
Investigators at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, examined the association between sleep recovery and sleep loss among adults. Their findings was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Their study results show that the ability to readily “catch up” on lost sleep later is more myth than fact. The researchers found that the participants did not easily recover from their lost sleep— not even sleeping for extra hours on subsequent days.
The amount of sleep that people need varies widely. However, generally, health experts suggest that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
“Sleep deprivation is a very common cause of poor concentration, inattention, and daytime sleepiness increases the risk of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents,” Dr. Stephanie M. Stahl said.
According to the new study author, even a short duration of obtaining only 1–2 hours below their goal of 7-plus hours of sleep was not enough, even after 1 week of obtaining sufficient sleep.
People believe that they can catch up on lost sleep by sleeping longer on the weekends. Now, new study research reveals that this is just a myth.
The investigators conclude, “The neurobehavioral consequences of chronic partial sleep deprivation cannot be overcome easily and last much longer than one expects.”