I’ve mentioned in previous posts that fatigue and getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging for me. I’ve learned to cope with the insomnia and, thankfully, that’s rarer these days but I could still feel better rested than I do. Being the health and wellness nerd that I am, I have been researching sleep.
“Can you catch up on sleep?” is one question I have been pondering. I had always heard in the past that you can’t. Once it’s gone, it’s gone; you can’t get it back. However, a lot of new information has cropped up over the last several years claiming that, actually, you can!
Sleep debt is determined by the variance between the amount of sleep you are getting and the amount you ought to be getting. Most of the sources I checked were in agreement that seven to nine hours a night is considered optimal. I guesstimate that I tend to get on average around six or less. Splitting the diff on the optimum range, my sleep debt is around 1.5 hours a night or 10.5 a week. No wonder why I feel so damned tired!
I have decided to dedicate the month of November to getting more shut-eye in the hopes of balancing out my sleep account. Most articles I read, like this one from Scientific American, “Can You Catch Up on Lost Sleep? …”, agreed that the best way to repay your sleep debt is to intentionally get more sleep every night. So if eight hours of sleep is optimal, then aim for nine or ten.
I have been shooting for ten hours a night. I try to be in bed by 9PM and sleep until 6AM. This means I am sacrificing my beloved morning routine somewhat for a while. However, I figure that it does me little good to run through routine activities if I end up exhausted by 2PM. Besides, if this works the way I am hoping it will, then I can return to my AM rituals bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by the holidays. I do want to get to back in the 5AM club before the end of the year!
Are you getting enough sleep at night? Do you feel rested and energetic all day long? I would love to hear from you. Leave me a reply in the comments section!