What Is Sleep Debt?

Wondering what is Sleep Debt? Don’t worry!

There are tons of different terms in finance and in other parts of life where we experience these terms on a daily basis.

We are already aware of most of the terms we face in everyday life but sometimes, two different terms collide with each other and create new meanings, and those meanings actually are important to your life standard.

What Is Sleep Debt

One of those terms is sleep debt. Even though it seems like a finance term, it is actually something else.

It focuses on your sleep schedule, how much sleep you get, and the difference between the sleep you get and the sleep you need.

And according to CNN, over 30% of adults reported an hour of sleep debt.

In this article, we will talk about sleep debt in more detail and explain what it is so make sure to read it till the end.

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Key Takeaways

  • Sleep deprivation has many negative impacts on the body and health.
  • Sleep debt may lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases.
  • If you keep creating sleep debt and have sleep deprivation, you will feel more tired throughout your day.

What Is Sleep Debt?

What Is Sleep Debt

Sleep debt, some also refer to as sleep deficit, is the difference in the amount you sleep and how much you actually sleep every night.

If you sleep less than your body needs, you create a sleep debt or deficit. Just like other debts, if you keep creating debt, these debts add up with time, and your health will have a negative impact from it, creating diseases or lowering your standards of living since you are not getting enough sleep.

To put it into context, if you need eight hours of sleep, but you get six, you create a sleep debt for two hours.

In addition to this, sleep debt is cumulative, so if you do it for three nights in a row, you will have a sleep debt of six hours, which you need to compensate for your body to recover easier. 1

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Is there such thing as sleep debt?
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Consequences Of Sleep Debt

Consequences Of Sleep Debt

Sleep deprivation has many negative impacts on the body, and there is not one positive impact on your health.

With sleep debt, you create more sleep deprivation if you let it cumulate for several nights.

If you keep creating this debt and have sleep deprivation, you will feel more tired throughout your day, the ability to focus will depreciate, and you will be more prone to having diseases as your immune system weakens with less sleep.

In addition to all these, your body might create diseases likeobesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other heart diseases as a result of sleep deprivation since your mind and body are not getting the relaxation it needs to recover.

The more you create this debt, the harder and longer it will take to fix it.

Ways To Avoid Sleep Debt

Ways To Avoid Sleep Debt

Here are some effective ways to avoid sleep debt:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule: Set a sleeping time and follow it every day. Over time your body will get used to your sleep schedule, and you will fall asleep in no time automatically. If you want to start getting into this habit, then start by reducing your sleeping time by 20-30 minutes and eventually bring it down to your desired sleeping time.
  • Work on the bedroom environment: If you are struggling to sleep, then improving your bedroom environment can help you immensely. Keep your room temperature around 65°F, and block out noises or light. Use soft pillows and comfortable mattresses.
  • Calculate how much sleep you need: For a few days, keep track of when you go to sleep and when your body automatically wakes you up. Calculate the hours, and this is how much sleep you need on an everyday basis. Make sure you get the needed sleep.
  • Cut down on bad habits: Avoid drinking caffeine, using your mobile phones or other gadgets, and eating food a few hours before you go to bed. All these poor habits can make it difficult for you to sleep.
  • Develop a nighttime routine: Having a comforting nighttime routine can also help you in falling asleep. You can listen to nocturnal beats, do meditation to calm your mind, follow a skincare routine, etc. 2

Misconceptions of Sleep Debt

Effective Ways To Recover From Sleep Debt

Ways To Recover From Sleep Debt

If you are high on sleep debt, then here are a few ways in which you can recover from it:

  • Sleep more during weekends: Most people are often busy with work or college and barely get time during weekdays to make up for a lost sleeping time. So sleep more during weekends to recover from sleep debt.
  • Take naps: If you get 10-20 minutes time in your day, then you can take naps during that time. Small naps are also called power naps and help you in feeling refreshed and charged. It also lessens fatigue and improves cognitive performance.
  • Be consistent: If you are not consistent with your sleep, then you will find yourself sleep-deprived most of the time. So make sure you are consistent with your sleeping schedule.
  • Consult with a doctor: If, even after trying everything, sleep debt is hampering your daily life, then consult a doctor, as he/she may be able to help you out in a better way. 3

The Verdict

To conclude, by sleeping less than you need each night, you create sleep debt since your body accumulates sleep deprivation every time you sleep less than you need.

If you sleep five hours instead of eight, you will have a debt of three hours, and if you do this three more times, your sleep debt will be twelve hours, making you more prone to diseases and other consequences of sleep deprivation like losing focus, feeling tired all the time, weakened immune system, and many more cardiovascular problems both with your brain and your body.

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What are the symptoms of sleep debt?

The common symptoms of sleep debt are:

  • Yawning
  • Irritation
  • Mood swings
  • Low concentration levels
  • Low motivation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Fatique
  • Depression and anxiety 4

What are the causes of sleep debt?

Here are some common causes of sleep debt:

  • Staying late at night
  • Young children
  • Night shifts
  • Work or personal stress
  • Insomnia
  • Disease or injury
  • Extensive travel
  • Caffeine
  • Using too much gadgets

What is the impact of sleep debt on the brain?

Sleep debt makes it difficult for the brain to concentrate; it can cause headaches, can impair memory, hamper decision-making, etc.

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  1. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/what-is-sleep-debt[]
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/sleep-debt-and-catch-up-sleep[]
  3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/23970-sleep-deprivation[]
  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation[]
  5. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation[]

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