” one of those misconceptions that we can dispose of today is the idea that you can make up for sleep you’ve lost during the week by sleeping in on the weekend.
University of Colorado researchers have found that people with consistent sleep deprivation gained weight and experienced a loss of insulin sensitivity. The researchers said that attempting to make up for lost sleep on the weekend not only didn’t counter the harm done to metabolism, it seemed to have made it worse.
Experts recommend that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That’s true of older adults as well, but many seniors don’t get the sleep they need, because they often have more trouble falling asleep, sleep less deeply and wake up more often throughout the night.
“Many people believe that poor sleep is a normal part of aging, but it is not. Sleep patterns change as we age, but disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging,” Live Science reports.
Whatever the cause for lost sleep, scores of people try to make up for these deficits by sleeping more on their days off. Scientists now say that not only can you not make up for lost sleep, but you’re likely damaging your health long-term by not getting enough sleep in the first place.
Consequences of lack of sleep
Findings from the Global Burden of Disease study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), found that 603 million adults were obese in 2015, and cardiovascular disease and diabetes were the first and second, respectively, leading causes of death from a high body mass index (BMI). And studies have repeatedly shown that insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders are recognized risk factors for obesity and diabetes.
The Colorado researchers outlined that specifically, “insufficient sleep alters several behavioral and physiological processes implicated in metabolic dysregulation, including regulation of energy intake and delayed circadian timing, which results in weight gain and reduced insulin sensitivity.”
Try keep your sleep schedule regular. Get to sleep at the same time every night, and maybe make use of our podcast to help clear your mind and engage it in a constructive way.
And if the podcast alone doesn’t work. Maybe a natural sleep aid will help? We haven’t tried this ourselves, but it is quite highly rated.