With such packed working or studying hours, having to wake up early to run to work or class or even taking care of your family or whatever reduces those healthy 8 hours of sleep to an unhealthy 5 hours, your immune system is said to take a toll.
But what can one do, especially without any other relaxant in your lifestyle?
Well, don’t let this keep you up at night because studies show that you could actually make up for the lost sleep by sleeping in longer over the weekend and even reverse those unhealthy effects such as metabolic damage, which sleep deprivation causes.
The study was conducted by Josiane Broussard, the assistant research professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Dr. Esra Tasali, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. Here are the details of the study:1 2 3
The study involved around 20 healthy, young men to participate in two different kinds of sleep studies.
In the first stage of the experiment, for the first four days, the men got around 8.5 hours of sleep.
In the second stage of the experiment, for the next four days, the men were allowed to have just 4.5 hours of sleep, but they received two days to recover after.
In the first day of recovery, they got an average sleep of around 12 hours or more, depending on how much they wanted to get.
In the second day of recovery, they needed only about 10 hours although they were allowed to sleep in for as long as they wanted again.
Their blood was tested for sugar levels every day as part of the monitoring
progress of the study.
The results showed that when the men were deprived of adequate sleep, their insulin sensitivity or ability to balance their blood sugar levels reduced by a little above 20%, ultimately increasing their risk for diabetes by close to 20% too. But after making up for the sleep within the two recovery days, coming to around 9.5 hours of sleep on average, their sugar levels returned to normal.
This proved that a simple two days of extra sleep works well enough to revert the body to good health at least in the short run, when it came to regulating blood-sugar levels and improving insulin levels and sensitivity.
The researchers admitted that, the body is very adaptable and catching up on sleep you lost, helps it return to the baseline as well as aids metabolic rates. However, it still does not give them the whole picture or cannot be generalized as certain individual variables still exist.
For instance, it is still uncertain if this technique will suffice: in the long-run, as one ages, to those who may suffer from some ailments like obesity or diabetes, the quality of sleep experienced by the person per night even if it was 5 or 8 hours and moreover if it even applies to the female population as well.
However, the fact remains that sleep deprivation can cause neurological issues such as, mood swings, weaker immunity, spacing out or confusion, irritability, and even affect a person’s memory.
But what this study does, is encourage people to sleep more.
However, the quality of sleep whether 5 hours or 8 hours also does play a crucial role. So, here a few unique ways to improve your quality of sleep:
Have some warm milk with turmeric before going to bed, to kick in some curcumin to that circadian cycle and boost the immune-system too.
Meditate so you calm your mind and put it as ease to slip into that slumber.
Snuggle up with a pet or loved one, it is said to release serotonin, the sleep and relaxation hormone and reduce stress levels.
What are some things you do to get the best sleep at night?