One of the most common perceptions of college students is that you can catch up on the sleep that you missed by “catching up” with more sleep.
So, is that really true? Can you “catch up” on all your lost sleep? Well, science says that it depends on how much sleep you need to catch up on.
Long-term sleep deprivation might be difficult to make up. Overall, it isn’t possible to make up for sleep that’s lost over a long period of time.
It is possible to recoup short-term sleep, though. According to Dr. W. Christopher Winter, you can catch up on short-term sleep loss within a couple of days. An easy way to do this is to add an hour or two of sleep every night to make up for what you missed.
Although you might be content to slack off on sleeping during the week so you can snooze on weekends, it might not be a good idea. Sleeping late on the weekends disrupts sleep rhythms and can make it harder for you to fall asleep on Sundays, meaning you start the week already behind on sleep. Extended snoozing marathons aren’t the way to go to catch up on your sleep debts.
Therefore, the major key to being well rested throughout the week is to maintain a proper sleep schedule, even during the weekends. If you need to, catch up on the sleep you’ve missed by adding in a couple extra hours the next night. An extra excuse to sleep more? I think that’s something we can all be fine with.