You can never make up for lost sleep, study finds

Do you ever wish you still had your parents telling you when to go to bed, at least then you’d get enough sleep, right? Now many of us are struggling to get the required eight hours of sleep each night, often contended to sleep in on weekends and make up for the sleep we lose during the week.

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but you simply cannot make up for sleep you’ve lost. Researchers from the University of Paris have found that daytime napping and weekend sleep-ins are not enough to compensate for getting less than six hours of sleep during the week.

The scientists analysed the sleep patterns of 12,637 adults living in France. They found that that one-in-three suffered from short sleep and sleep debt during the week, and only one in four people succeeded in completely making this up by sleeping in longer or taking naps during the weekend.

So-called ‘sleep debt’ of up to 60 minutes was also reported by 28 per cent of those surveyed, while 19 per cent had a sleep debt of up to 90 minutes.

In an effort to compensate for this loss of sleep, 18 per cent said that they caught up at weekends. Women were more likely to do this than men as seven per cent reported napping.

“Napping and weekend catch-up sleep only compensated for severe sleep debt in one in four subjects.” the researchers wrote.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Sleep Medicine.