Are you sacrificing your productivity of tomorrow to complete today's deadline driven task? Pulling a late night or even worse an all nighter can have a disastrous effect on your body and mind over the following days as your body tries to recover from the lack of sleep. Only your sleep debt is made worse by skimping on your sleep hours because you have other things you either have to do or rather would prefer doing. With today's deadline driven and fast paced lifestyles it is incredibly easy to forget that the body actually needs sleep just as much as it needs food and water. It is important to make time to slow down and get good quality sleep regularly.
What is sleep debt?
Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you should be getting and the amount you actually get. Generally, experts recommend eight hours of sleep per night, although some people may require only six hours of sleep while others may need more.
Other than feeling tired, what are the other consequences of sleep debt?
The potential short-term, negative effects include a foggy brain, impaired driving, difficulty remembering things, and reduced vision, while potential long-term ramifications include heart disease, obesity, and insulin resistance.
How can you catch up on your sleep debt?
Thinking of reclaiming those lost hours of sleep by just catching a few extra hours of sleep on the weekend? Unfortunately, your body does not function like that. Even if you get a few extra hours of sleep, you are still likely going to be affected by sleep deprivation. Although with some work, sleep debt can be repaid—though it won't happen in one extended snooze marathon.
By getting an extra hour or two of sleep a night (every night) is the way to slowly catch up. For the chronically sleep deprived, take it easy for a few months to get back into a natural sleep pattern. Ultimately, getting enough sleep at night is the answer. It can take days or even weeks for your body to return to a normal pattern. In the meantime, if you’re trying to make up for lost time, go to bed early and wake up at your normal time instead of sleeping in late.