Sleep debt is quantified as the amount of sleep that you NEED per night minus the hours of sleep that you actually GET. So if, for whatever reason, you lost two hours of sleep each night last week, and you want to catch up by sleeping in at the weekend, you’ll have to sleep in 5 hours a day. Obviously, five hours of extra sleep is very unlikely to happen. So you might think that you’re catching up if you sleep three hours extra on Saturday and Sunday, but you’re really still building up your sleep debt. In this case 4 hours a week.
Paying off sleep debt
For minor sleep deficiencies however, you can apply some ideas to pay off your sleep debt. You may plan on paying back the next day, through naps that you make, or you may decide to sleep longer hours in the weekend.
Here are the techniques to pay back your sleep debt in more detail:
1. If you had little sleep last night, you may sleep for increments of a half hour to an hour during the day. You may do this during your lunch breaks or coffee breaks. Even a 15 minute nap can do wonders for your concentration at work or in school. Best would be an area where you can lay down for a while, but even a short nap on your desk can help a lot.
2. You can also pay off your sleep debt by sleeping earlier the next day. If you had little sleep last night because of a deadline, a project, or a much needed cocktail break, you can sleep an hour or two before your scheduled bedtime. If you feel restless and just can’t sleep at all, induce sleep by taking warm milk, a turkey burger, or a tuna fish sandwich. These foods are all rich in tryptophan, a food constituent that can easily induce rest, relaxation and ultimately, sleep.
3. Another way to pay back a heavy sleep debt is to sleep longer during the weekends. After a hectic week of work or school, you may sleep longer hours on Saturdays and Sundays. You may also relax and pamper yourself with massages, spa routines and a nice long bath time to rejuvenate your body.
The weekends are a great time to eat healthier and sleep longer. Load up on proteins and carbohydrates that you can use for energy when you burn the midnight oil next week.
4. Finally, you can pay of your sleep debt by taking a time off. Just stay at home and sleep the entire vacation away if necessary.
How to recover from sleep debt
For more severe sleep deprivation, cutting down on your sleep debt is the only option left. This means that you’re not going to pay back on your sleep debt, but you’re going to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Here are a few techniques for a healthier sleeping pattern:
1. Have a regular sleep-wake routine – sleep at the same hour each night and wake up at the same time in the morning. Finish work and cut down on unnecessary distractions before you go to sleep.
2. Adhere to your schedule – nothing beats a day with a structured schedule. Do all your office work or school work at the appropriate time each day and you will never need to disrupt your sleeping routine.
3. Have a balanced diet – a healthy body leads to a healthy sleep as well. Cut down on fast food and junk food and eat a balanced diet instead. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins to keep you healthy and fit.
4. Keep active – involve yourself in sports and other physical activities like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming. These activities will increase your energy levels during the day and make you fall asleep easier at night.
5. Spend your time wisely – in order not to burden your sleep debt, budget your time wisely during the weekdays. Decline offers to go out if you need to wake up early for work, reschedule activities for leisure in the weekends instead.
6. Professional help – admit that you need help if you find sleeping difficult each night. A sleep expert may help you find a way to get a good night’s sleep in no time at all. Possible suggestions are herbal sleep aids and other supplements that induce sleep and relaxation, or alternative remedies like meditation and yoga. You may look for sleep experts online, or maybe your doctor can recommend a clinic or sleep center to go to.
The best possible action you can take for self-help would be to apply for the Sleeptrack Insomnia solution. This completely natural sleeping solution makes use of specific rhythmic sleeptracks, but these tracks are merely a tool to let you find the way to get to sleep again.
Ultimately, you don’t need the tracks anymore. You will simply be able to fall asleep whenever you want to, and the days of tossing and turning will be a vague memory before you know it. Click here to try it out!
Don’t hesitate to pay back your sleep debt and cure insomnia once and for all. It’s worth all the trouble.
7. Lifestyle overhaul – a complete lifestyle overhaul may be at hand if you really want to cut down on your sleep debt. Cut down on drinking alcohol, eating out, gaming and clubbing in the evening. If you want to be healthy and have a flawless sleep pattern then make a pact to remove unnecessary distractions from your life. Implement better options like fitness, sports and hobbies that can give you more energy in the morning and help you sleep better at night.
You can find more information on this particular tactic to reduce your sleep debt by following the link.
How to prevent sleep debt
Since we can’t stop the times from changing, we need to find ways to deal with our ever changing society. We need to find new ways to fit more activities in our already busy schedules. However, the problem is that most people try to find extra time by creating sleep debt, and although this might work for a short while, sleep debt could lead to severe sleep deprivation before you know it. If this sounds familiar, please read the information on the causes and effects of lack of sleep, where we provide more information to prevent you from creating sleep debt.