Can you “bank” extra sleep?

Can you “bank” extra sleep?

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Many people mistakenly believe you can “catch up” on the hours of sleep you miss during the week by sleeping extra hours on the weekends or taking afternoon power naps. “Sleep banking” doesn’t work, however.

When you don’t get approximately eight consecutive hours of deep, restful sleep (Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep), you damage and kill brain cells—permanently.

Lack of sleep also results in higher cortisol levels (the worst stress hormone) in your blood throughout the day.

Sleeping for 10 hours on Sunday also doesn’t help you feel refreshed on Tuesday or Wednesday if you only get a few hours of sleep.

Extra sleep on the weekends might increase your lifespan, according to a 2017 Swedish study, but that only increases the quantity of your years, not the quality of your living.

When you sleep, your body changes its chemical activities, lowering your core temperature, releasing specific hormones and engaging in other activities that help repair the trillions of cells that make up your body (and which you stress and damage during the day).

You need to go through that repair process every night if you want to avoid long-term damage to your brain and body.

Read Steve Milano’s GovLopp article, Is Sleep for the Weak? to learn more about this topic. After you read the article, scroll down to read a commenter’s very information information on U.S. Military studies on the effects of sleep deprivation.

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