For most people, a typical day involves a lot of work, a bit of personal time, and a tiny amount of sleep. Sometimes, to make up for all those sleep-deprived weekdays, you indulge in sleeping in during the weekend just to recover some of the hours you’ve lost doing other things. You’re basically trying to pay off your sleep debt by cramming it in over the weekend.

Many people don’t realize that weekday sleep loss has some negative effects on health that not even making up for lost sleep over the weekend can reverse. Here’s what the experts at our sleep center in Jacksonville, FL have to say about sleep catchups and why it doesn’t actually help:

Making Up for Lost Sleep

If you make it a habit of making up for lost sleep, you might be putting yourself at even more risk than you think. Since sleep is a restorative activity, you can technically make up for some of the lost sleep, but not all of it. The problem is that it takes way more time to catch up than what you’ve lost. According to a 2016 study on optimal sleep duration and sleep debt, losing an hour of sleep takes four days to recover. This means that offsetting all that lost sleep over the weekend will never be enough.

The Relationship Between Sleep Deficit and Appetite

You may have paid off some of your debt, but your body eventually suffers from other side effects of unhealthy sleeping habits. Research shows that having a sleep debt can result in excess calorie intake, reduced energy expenditure, increased weight, and increased risk of developing sleep disorders. The worst thing about it, is it can also have detrimental effects on how your body uses insulin, ultimately leading to a higher risk of diabetes.

You Won’t Get Away Cheating on Sleep

In reality, there doesn’t seem to be any benefit at all if you continue to cheat on sleep. You’re only increasing the risk of having severe health consequences like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and even obesity.

Even if you don’t experience any of these conditions, an irregular sleep schedule will still mess with your body’s rhythm. Believe it or not, the human body is built on a series of routines and biological rhythms that, if disturbed, can lead to sleep disorders and other adverse health effects like the ones mentioned earlier. Combine that with all the added risks, and things aren’t looking that good.

Making Drastic Lifestyle Changes

The best thing you can do to avoid all the risks is plain old prevention. It’s all about improving your behavior and sleeping habits. It may be quite an adjustment, but it’s an adjustment that your body will be thankful for. Remember to keep your bedtime and wake time fairly stable to maintain a normal circadian rhythm. Keeping a sleep log can help you keep track of your sleeping patterns to guide you while adjusting.

Sleep as a Preventive Medicine

Don’t think of sleep as a nuisance or even a chore you have to do when you feel tired. Think of it as preventive medicine that will help you reduce illness and optimize your well-being. The benefits of getting enough sleep should never be taken for granted. If you want to live a healthy life, treat your sleep with the same importance as any activity worth doing while you’re awake.

Sleep Specialist in Jacksonville, FL

If you’re experiencing any sleep disorders or unhealthy sleeping habits, a sleep specialist in Jacksonville, FL can give you just the kind of help you need. Jacksonville Sleep Center is the only sleep facility in North Florida with a board-certified sleep physician dedicated to helping patients improve their quality of life through the power of sleep.

Let our team be your guide on your journey to a good night’s sleep. Request an appointment today!