Can You Make Up for Lost Sleep on Weekends?
Find the truth about questions that pique your curiosity in our series, The Short Answer. Sleep expert Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, fields this one about insomnia and sleeping in on weekends.
A: In the past, sleep experts believed it was impossible to catch up on the sleep you lose — that once you’ve lost it, it’s gone.
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But a recent long-term study found that folks who slept four, five or six hours during the week, then caught up on weekends, lived longer than those who remained sleep-deprived all week long.
So you can catch up to some degree on weekends. However, sometimes people who catch up on sleep on the weekend will oversleep.
And it turns out that oversleeping has some of the same consequences as undersleeping:
So it’s really best to aim for a stable sleep time, bedtime and wake time every day of the week. This will help you get the regular sleep needed to restore your brain and every cell in your body.
—Sleep medicine specialist Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS