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Is It Possible To Catch Up On Lost Sleep

January 23, 2019
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

I don't know about anyone else, but I have always loved to sleep. However, I've never been a person that slept at night very well. For me, the more noise around me the better I sleep. Plus the fact that I am not a big fan of sunlight so I am not a morning person can sometimes make it hard for me to get more than 4 hours of sleep. The best job I've ever had as far as sleep goes was a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. entry operator for a pharmacutical company. I saw the sun for maybe an hour and sometimes that was too much.

Of course that was when I was in my early 20s and like most 20-something year olds, sleep was not a high priority. As I have gotten older (and supposedly wiser), I've tried to pay attention to what the "experts" have to say about staying healthy.

Experts have been preaching for years about the importance of a sleep routine. Going to bead about the same time every night and getting up about the same time every morning helps regulate circadian rhythms and improve overall sleep quality and quantity.

These circadiam rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. Since they respond primarily to light and darkness,a regular sleep schedule is important, so they say.

I've always said I can make up for lost sleep on my days off and believe me, I think I could sleep 20 hours a day and still not get enough sleep. I've also been told that sleeping longer on days off or weekends doesn't make up for lost sleep - nothing can.

However, thanks to a group of Swedish scientists who surveyed 38,000 Swedens, I may now have a counter argument that will go something like this: "Research has shown that if you don't get enough sleep during the work week, I can make up for some of it on the weekends and catch up on need sleep that may cancel out at least some of the associated health risks."

From the surveys, the researchers drew conclusions about how total sleep, as well as workday versus day-off sleep, relates to mortality.

What they found is that over the 13 years of data looked at, people who slept for five hours or less each night had a 65 percent higher risk of premature death as compared to those who constantly slep for six or seven hours every night.

Aslo discovered were that the association between sleep and premature death mainly disappeared among adults over 65 years. It was hypothesized that this age group tends to have regular sleep habits and some researcheres even feel this age group needs less rest overall.

Looking at data from people who made up for less sleep during the weekday by sleep longer on weekends, it was discovered these people didn't seem to have a higher mortality risk than the people who slept about seven hours a night.

The researchers concluded that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekends. Many scientists around the world find this theory intriging but say more studies need to be done to be conclusive.

It seems as if I may finally have scientific proof to what I had been telling my mom since I was 15 years old, "Sleeping longer on the weekend will make up for the sleep I lost during the week." I just wouldn't tell her the entire story - that more research needs to be done to prove the theory of the Swedish researchers.

I think I will keep this little bit of information to myself and simply argue that a person can make up for lost sleep another day and it will be beneficial to my health as if I had a regular sleep schedule.

It might work or it might not. guess I will just have to wait and see.



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