Will Catching up on Lost Sleep Over the Weekend Revive the Body?

First Posted: Oct 12, 2013 08:54 PM EDT

Recent research looks at how some may be able to makeup lost sleep. Various health officials actually suggest that catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation over the weekend can help those regain any lost REM cycles.

Sleep deprived participants involved in the study were asked to sleep in for the equivalent of a weekend. Thereafter, researchers regularly tested the subjects' physical and mental health over the period.

As predicted by the researchers, the participants grew more tired when they were sleep deprived and felt better after sleeping in. Levels of inflammation in the body also went up when they were sleep deprived and back down when they weren't.  

Their ability to pay attention also went down when they lost sleep. However, it did not improve after the "weekend."

"Two nights of extended recovery sleep may not be sufficient to overcome behavioral alertness deficits resulting from mild sleep restriction," the study authors wrote. "This may have important implications for people with safety-critical professions, such as health care workers, as well as transportation system employees (drivers, pilots, etc.)," Alexandros Vgontzas, of the Penn State University College of Medicine, said. 

The study authors believe that repeating this method each week could have long-term effects that may potentially lead to even more serious health consequences.

"The long-term effects of a repeated sleep restriction/sleep recovery weekly cycle in humans remains unknown," the researchers said, via HealthDay.

And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also shows that lack of sleep can lead to serious health consequences, ranging from weight gain, dizziness and in more serious cases, higher risks for behavioral disorders or depression.

What do you think? 

More information regarding the study can be found via the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism

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