Is It Possible to Catch Up on Sleep?
Sleeping in on weekends feels good, but does it actually counteract the effects of your sleep-deprived weekdays?
“Playing ‘catch up’ sleep may help you feel rested on weekends but won’t make up for other consequences of short sleep duration during the week—like overeating or driving while drowsy,” says Stuart Lehrman, MD, Medical Director of the Sleep Laboratory at Westchester Medical Center. In fact, it may do more harm in the long run. “When sleeping more on off days we may deprive ourselves of REM sleep,” says Dr. Lehrman. “That might make it more difficult to fall asleep at the desired time on Sunday night, perpetuating the problem.” Aim for seven and a half to eight hours of sleep per night.