Can you Really Catch up on Sleep?: February 5, 2017
If you’re using the weekend to catch up on sleep, health experts say you may be doing more harm than good.
Sleep medicine Dr. Jose Colon says it’s actually better to keep a consistent wake time, even on the weekends. “When it comes to catching up on sleep that’s actually a misconception people have is to catch up on it over the weekend by sleeping in longer. What happens is when someone sleeps longer that ends up taking away your sleep drive to get to sleep at night.”
Instead of sleeping in late, he recommends going to bed earlier and getting up at your normal time. An earlier bed time will actually benefit your body more than sleeping in late. “One of the things we have is circadian system which is our sleep, wake cycle and that’s governed by 24 hours of light and dark cues that occur. When they’re sleeping in three or four hours longer, they’re disrupting this circadian system. They’re going to have difficulty sleeping at night and fatigue in the daytime,” said Dr. Colon.
Waking up at your normal time will help you have more energy throughout the day. “When you wake up early and you have a consistent early wake up time that actually helps you move your sleep time to a little earlier,” said Dr. Colon.
If you need to catch up on sleep, try going to bed a few hours earlier.