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  #1  
Old 21 May 2013, 11:48 PM
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Icon81 Can You Catch Up on Lost Sleep?

Getting eight hours of shut-eye each night is generally recommended, but many people don't. As the week rolls from Monday to Friday, they accumulate a sleep debt. Spending a few extra hours in bed on a Saturday morning, people assume, will help them "catch up" on lost sleep. They're likely right.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...502357516.html
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  #2  
Old 29 May 2013, 12:07 AM
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My brother says you can't catch up on sleep.
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Old 29 May 2013, 12:48 AM
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After spending three days digging the garden, I slept for 12 hours.

I also catch up on sleep every weekend. Maybe your brother can't, but I can.
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  #4  
Old 29 May 2013, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen Edhelwen View Post
My brother says you can't catch up on sleep.
I think most of the evidence agrees with your brother. The article talks about small, short-term deficiencies and seems not to take into account individual differences. But there's pretty good evidence that longer-term, daily sleep deficiencies have somewhat permanent effects that no amount of "catching up" will avoid. The OP is talking more about catching up on a regular basis, at most a week. Even there, it's not as if you won't feel this week's deficiencies if you made up for last week's. It just means after you catch up on the weekend, you'll begin the cycle again on Monday or Tuesday. So it buys you a couple of days of normal productivity and mental health and then you're back to where you started. So I agree with your brother rather then the WSJ article.
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Old 29 May 2013, 12:05 PM
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But it keeps it from getting worse.
However, I have a sleep disorder, so I may be framing it slightly differently.
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  #6  
Old 29 May 2013, 01:29 PM
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I can't catch up on my sleep. My sleep catches up on me. Nowdays, I sleep at midnight and get up between 5 and 6. After couple of days, I have to sleep at 9 and get up at 6. On days I have made myself sleep at 9, I get up at 3. So, I average about 7 hours of sleep, sometimes less, sometimes more.

I used to need on an average 8 hours of sleep, and I would follow the same pattern of sleeping less for 2 days, and catching up on the 3rd day. It's gone down to 7 hours in the past few years, and that's probably because I'm getting older. Eventually, I'll be sitting on the front yard telling the kids to get off my lawn at midnight.
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Old 31 May 2013, 05:37 PM
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If they're playing on your lawn at midnight, they're probably up to no good anyway.
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Old 31 May 2013, 05:44 PM
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I have this weird pattern going on lately where if I go to sleep between 9 and 10 pm, it's harder for me to wake up at 6 or 7 am than it is if I go to bed between 10 and 11 pm. I'm guessing it has to do with sleep stages.
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  #9  
Old 31 May 2013, 05:49 PM
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I think, as was.said earlier, you can temporarily "catch up". That is, if you allow yourself to sleep yourself out for a couple days, you can buy a couple days of near normalcy. It won't be normalcy, but since what you had a few days ago was so far from normal, it will kind of feel like it. The only true way to catch up on sleep is to be able to sleep at least 8 hours (for most people; some require closer to 10, some can get by on less) a night for an extended period of time. In other words, the only real way to catch up from being sleep.deprived is to cease to be sleep deprived.

For many, the obvious cure is not an option. In that case, periodic over-sleeps may indeed keep the problem from becoming as bad as it might otherwise be.
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Old 31 May 2013, 06:04 PM
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I don;t see it as a problem. I see it is natural rhythm of my body. 2 days of less sleep. 1 day of catch up sleep. Nothing wrong with that!
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Old 31 May 2013, 06:20 PM
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No, but the pattern for a lot of people is more like 5 days of less (not enough) sleep, followed by 2 days of more sleep, week after week, year after year.
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  #12  
Old 31 May 2013, 06:26 PM
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And that may be your natural rhythm. Not everyone has a 24 hour cycle. Sleep patterns can vary pretty widely. Most people have the 8 or so hours per 24. I also think that when people use the term catch up on sleep, they mean more than a debt of a couple hours over a couple days. Generally, they mean days of little sleep (to the point where they feel the effects of tiredness) over several days, repeated for many weeks. That can create a substantial "sleep debt", and have high consequences lime overall grogginess, slowed reaction times, less efficient brain functioning, general clumsiness, and so on. I can look back at my posts and tell which I wrote during periods of insomnia, and which I wrote when I had enough rest. I am slower to understand nuances, and more likely to jump to conclusions due to not reading carefully or comprehending thoroughly.
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Old 31 May 2013, 06:33 PM
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My wife sleeps for 9 hours every day, goes to sleep at the same time, and waked up at the same time. She becomes groggy, tired, clumsy at the same time everyday. How is that any differrent than me becoming groggy, tired and clumsy at midnight on 2 days and groggy tired and clumsy at 9pm the third day? or someone who becomes groggy, clumsy and tired at midnight everyday, and catches up on the weekend

The OP is talking about sleep debt, not insomnia. Insomnia is when you are unable to sleep even though you are tired. Sleep debt is simply getting tired at differrent times on differrent days
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Old 31 May 2013, 06:57 PM
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Insomnia results in a sleep debt. And no, getting tired at different times is not sleep debt. Sleep debt is when you need more sleep than you are able to get, for whatever reason. It causes grogginess.not just at night, but throughout the whole day. When you go for long periods of getting lass sleep than your body needs, whether due to insomnia, work, or a new baby, you begin to experience unpleasant side effects that a night or two of extra sleep simply cannot cure. It may help, but the only cure is getting enough sleep for a long time.
ETA:Wiki link to sleep debt.

Last edited by geminilee; 31 May 2013 at 07:03 PM.
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  #15  
Old 31 May 2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
Sleep debt is simply getting tired at differrent times on differrent days
Where are you getting that definition?

ETA: Here's how the OP article explains sleep debt:

Quote:
Getting eight hours of shut-eye each night is generally recommended, but many people don't. As the week rolls from Monday to Friday, they accumulate a sleep debt.
One of the reasons people don't get enough sleep is insomnia.
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  #16  
Old 31 May 2013, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
Sleep debt is when you need more sleep than you are able to get, for whatever reason. It causes grogginess.not just at night, but throughout the whole day.
Including when you're working. Or driving. Or dealing with a cranky baby. So it's not just dangerous to the person who has it.
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  #17  
Old 31 May 2013, 07:13 PM
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Yup, Lainie. So you have this groggy, clumsy, slow, stupid, zombie-like person operating machinery (including cars), making important decisions, and all too often practicing medicine. It is pretty much bad news for everybody.
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  #18  
Old 31 May 2013, 07:16 PM
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From my experience with sleep deprivation, and I have a lot of it, the grogginess is not a constant, it cycles throughout the day somewhere between feeling perfectly fine and having trouble keeping one's eyes open.
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Old 31 May 2013, 07:20 PM
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The can't-keep-your-eyes-open phase is miserable, IME, as well as dangerous.
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  #20  
Old 31 May 2013, 07:22 PM
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I imagine that there is a range of experience, as in most things. But even if the grogginess does not remain constant, some of the neural effects are there. Even when awake, the mind is processing slower, and not always as accurately. And periodic grogginess can be just as dangerous if the period falls at the wrong time, like when driving.
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