"Catching up" on lost sleep may actually do more harm than good

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/04/catching-up-on-lost-sleep.html


Well, that’s . . . inconclusive.

I do think tho that most people don’t take the value of getting enough sleep seriously. It’s amazing how important in so many ways getting good, long-enough sleep is. And how bad it is for us not to get that.


Whoa there - based on a quick reading of the linked article, the headline here seems WAAY off base from the actual conclusions of the study. It absolutely does not appear to conclude that a sleep-deprived person who uses the weekends to sleep catch up on sleep is worse off for having slept in an extra couple hours.

What the study does indicate is that catching up on the weekends is still less healthy than sleeping an even 8 hours every night. Which should surprise no one, and is quite a bit different. The takeaway here is of course that consistency and ample sleep throughout the week is the best routine - it absolutely should not be that it’s a bad idea to try to catch up on sleep if you’re already sleep-deprived.

The study doesn’t actually comment on that point at all, but as the UCLA guy quoted at the end indicates, as far as we know it’s probably still better to get some extra sleep if you’re tired.


Yep. I rarely nitpick titles here, but you’re right on. The key takeaway is that weekend recovery sleep doesn’t help metabolic indicators. It may help in other areas, like overall QOL and alertness, or cardiac outcomes, none of which were measured.


Instead, be like the Continental Op. Use a cold bath and gin.


Last time I saw a headline like this and skimmed the article (and it is totally a clickbait headline), I believed what it implied (that it doesn’t do any good to sleep in), and then did not sleep in on my next weekend. And felt like sh!t. Same thing next weekend, and felt like sh!t. Went back to sleeping in on weekends and was just fine.

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I didn’t read the post but I have a reaction to the headline.

heck, i’m sleeping right now.

( sorry @Papasan :cat: )


Offset your “weekend sleep recovery” with a good hangover, and it makes your regular weekday non-hungover sleep the real sleep recovery, amirite?!??!


So you are telling me if I get 5 hours of sleep every night during the week. When the weekend arrives I should set my alarm to get only 5 hours of sleep? I doubt that…

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