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How Do We Catch Up on Our Sleep?

Plamena M.Plamena M.

Many of us try to compensate the lack of sleep throughout the work week during the weekend. It turns out that this is possible but only to a limited extent.

Neurologist Dr. Christopher Winter has researched the restorative effect sleep has on us. According to his observations, a person can catch up on their sleep if they've been missing some several days in a row. But if you've deprived yourself of sleep for an extended period, like months or years, there is no way to restore those lost moments of rest.

It's been found that people who regularly don't get enough sleep can become more focused after a 10 hour sleep. The lasting consequences that lack of sleep wreaks upon their health however, cannot be neutralized in any way.

Experts warn that excessive sleep during the weekend isn't healthy either. If there's too wide a gap in the differences between the hours of sleep during the weekend and weekdays, this may lead to the development of chronic diseases, diabetes, weight problems and even cancer. Sleeping away the majority of the weekend confuses our biological clock. And plus it's incredibly impractical because it's your only free time and it would be great to get something done.

To catch up on sleep effectively and safely, divide up the difference in hours equally. For example, if you would like to sleep 2 extra hours during the weekend, then go to bed an hour earlier each day. Don't experiment with yourself by, for example, going to bed 5 hours later and sleeping 7 hours past your usual time for getting up. This is extremely unhealthy and will leave you feeling even more tired than before.


To protect yourself from the negative effects of lack of sleep, allow yourself short naps. 15-20 min. of sleep will restore your strength and energy. Don't have too many of them, for this may lead to the opposite effect.

It is of particular significance to get a quality rest. Turn off the alarm and TV, turn your phone's volume down and give yourself deep and well-deserved sleep.