SEP 07, 2021 7:15 AM PDT

Think you can pay back your sleep debt this weekend? Think again.

WRITTEN BY: Mia Wood

Even before COVID-19, millions of people suffered from sleep disorders, from insomnia to interrupted sleep. The pandemic has generated a surge in such disorders, which can generate or exacerbate health problems, such as obesity and anxiety. New sleep research from the University of South Florida contributes to the growing body of knowledge about the importance of sleep to our health and well-being. More specifically, the research suggests that even one night of sleep loss negatively impacts our ability to function the next day. So, the idea of catching up on sleep over the weekend does not retroactively make you feel less lousy.

The study focused on the effects of sleeping fewer than six hours a night for eight consecutive nights. Lead author, Soomi Lee found that the negative effects of sleep loss increased daily until the third day, after which the body adjusted — but does not recover. By the sixth consecutive day of sleeping fewer than six hours each night, however, study participants reported the most severe symptoms. Feelings like anger, loneliness, and frustration increased or intensified, as did, for example, gastrointestinal and upper respiratory issues.

Researchers studied data from almost 2,000 middle-aged, relatively healthy adults. The participants recorded their behaviors over eight consecutive days. Mood, energy, and daily functioning were all impaired. Lee concluded that breaking the “vicious cycle of sleep loss may protect daily well-being in adults whose sleep time is often compromised.”

Sources: American Sleep Association, American Psychological Association News, ScienceDaily.com, Annals of Behavioral Medicine

About the Author
  • I am a philosophy professor and writer with a broad range of research interests.
You May Also Like
AUG 30, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Is it Safe to Travel to Mars?
AUG 30, 2021
Is it Safe to Travel to Mars?
It should be safe for humans to travel to Mars, provided journeys don’t take more than four years. The correspondi ...
AUG 31, 2021
Health & Medicine
Your metabolism does slow down as you age, but not until you're over 60
AUG 31, 2021
Your metabolism does slow down as you age, but not until you're over 60
A new study shows that, yes, your metabolism does slow down as you age, but not until you're over 60
SEP 13, 2021
Cancer
Fat Loss can Predict Gastric Cancer Survival
SEP 13, 2021
Fat Loss can Predict Gastric Cancer Survival
Cancer cachexia is a metabolic disorder in cancer patients experiencing uncontrolled weight loss.  While cancer cac ...
SEP 10, 2021
Technology
"Shelf-Stable" COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Made From Plant and Bacteria Viruses
SEP 10, 2021
"Shelf-Stable" COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Made From Plant and Bacteria Viruses
Every day, researchers are making progress on therapeutics that could help end the COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA recently a ...
SEP 13, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Moderna is Developing mRNA Vaccines to Rescue Different Protein Defects
SEP 13, 2021
Moderna is Developing mRNA Vaccines to Rescue Different Protein Defects
A genome contains instructions for making genes, and when an organism needs to produce proteins, it transcribes a gene s ...
SEP 16, 2021
Microbiology
Medication May Build Up in Gut Bacteria, Impacting the Drug & Microbiome
SEP 16, 2021
Medication May Build Up in Gut Bacteria, Impacting the Drug & Microbiome
Gut microbes are crucial to our health. They aid in the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. But they can also ...
Loading Comments...