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Should you catch up on sleep at the weekend?

Wooden bed makers, Get Laid Beds partnered with Sleep Expert, Dr Deborah Lee to reveal the truth behind weekend slumbers.

Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that our weekend slumbers might not be as restorative as we think.

Studies indicate that the average sleep duration on the weekend is 7.26 hours as opposed to just 6.42 hours on a weekday. However, there are various factors that can influence the duration of sleep, such as insomnia, napping habits, and lifestyle choices.

Dr Deborah Lee at Dr Fox Online Pharmacy said: “We often lose sleep during the working week, due to early starts for school, college or university. This results in an accumulation of sleep deprivation, prompting some to compensate by sleeping for longer at the weekend.

“However, the amount of catch-up sleep needed is unclear.”

A lack of sleep can lead to other issues such as health, with those who slept for five hours or less per night at the weekend have an increased risk to their health as opposed to those who slept for seven hours. This suggests that long sleep at the weekend may be effective in compensating for short sleep during the week.

So, does it matter if you don’t get enough in the week? Can you just make up for it at the weekend?

Lee said: “If you sleep in late, this disrupts your natural sleep cycle and is likely to mean you will have trouble falling asleep if you go to bed at the same time, as usual, that night.

“Sleeping in can throw off your body’s internal clock, leading to difficulties falling asleep at night.

“However, erratic sleep patterns can wreak havoc on overall health, contributing to anxiety and other health issues.” 

“Many people feel a natural lull in their energy levels, usually early afternoon around 1-3 pm, this is the best time to take a nap if you need one, and aren’t in school or work. 

“But waking later in the day after a lie-in, can mean this tired spell occurs later. Napping late in the day is not advisable as it can mean it takes longer to fall asleep when you go to bed that night.”

What’s the solution?
Lee continues: “Ideally, we should all be trying to sleep well and get 7 hours of good quality sleep every night. It’s far better to work on your everyday sleep regime, than to ignore the need for sleep during the week, and only face up to it on the weekends.”

To help individuals establish a healthy sleep routine, Get Laid Beds shares expert tips:

  • Make sleep a priority.
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment: dark, quiet, and cool.
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and clean bedding.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Limit screen time before sleep.
  • Seek treatment for medical conditions affecting sleep.
  • Consult a healthcare professional for sleep disorders.
  • Don’t let sleep debt accumulate—prioritise your health with a good night’s sleep.

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