Do weekend lie-ins reduce weekday sleep debt?

Many people complain they do not get enough sleep, and it seems they are right to be concerned.

Researchers have found that adults under the age of 65 who get five or fewer hours of sleep for seven days a week have a higher risk of death than those who consistently get six or seven hours shut-eye.

However the effect of short sleeps over a few days may be countered by a later lie-in.

The research found that individuals who managed just a few hours’ sleep each day during the week but then had a long snooze at weekends had no raised mortality risk, compared with those who consistently stuck to six or seven hours a night.

Want better sleep. Leave your work at the office.

It will come as no surprise that taking your work home with you ups your stress levels and impacts sleep quality.

But here’s the catch: work is not just about what you do in the office.

It’s also about other work-related baggage, such as experiencing rudeness, which may prove extra difficult to leave behind.

Six reasons you know you are getting enough sleep

We all know some of the signs indicating that we are not getting enough sleep, but there are clues that we are getting enough sleep, too.

Waking up without an alarm, maintaining weight, not needing a caffeine boost, and not craving junk food are all signs that you’re getting enough sleep even if you don’t think so.

Clear glowing skin may be a result of more than a good skincare routine.

Sleep is essential for survival. We need it, our bodies crave it, and most of the time, we feel like we just cannot get enough of it.

Sleep specialist and author, Dr. Michael Breus told INSIDER,

Sleep is a process — it’s kind of like slowly pulling your foot off the gas and slowly putting your foot on the brake. It should take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes to fall asleep. So when you fall asleep in under five minutes, that means you’re sleep deprived.

But how do you know if you’re actually getting all of the sleep your mind and body need? Here are 6 signs you’re getting enough sleep even if you do not think so.

Tips to get a better night sleep

From Harvard Medical School Newsletter

Tips for beating anxiety to get a better night’s sleep

Many people with anxiety disorders have trouble sleeping.

That is a problem.

Too little sleep affects mood, contributing to irritability and sometimes depression.

Vital functions occur during different stages of sleep that leave you feeling rested and energized or help you learn and forge memories.

Sleep usually improves when an anxiety disorder is treated.

Practicing good sleep hygiene helps, too.

Here are some steps to take:

1). Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

2). Daylight helps set sleep patterns, so try to be outdoors while it is light out for 30 minutes a day.

3). Exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime). An afternoon workout is ideal.

4). Keep naps short — less than an hour — and forgo napping after 3 p.m.

5). Avoid caffeine (found in coffee, many teas, chocolate, and many soft drinks), which can take up to eight hours to wear off.

6). You may need to avoid caffeine entirely if you have panic attacks; many people who experience panic attacks are extra-sensitive to caffeine.

7). Review your medications with a doctor to see if you are taking any stimulants, which are a common culprit in keeping people up at night. Sometimes it is possible to switch medicines.

8). Avoid alcohol, large meals, foods that induce heartburn, and drinking a lot of fluid for several hours before bedtime.

9). If you smoke, quit. Smoking causes many health problems, including compromising sleep in a variety of ways.

10). Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, without distractions like TV or a computer.

11). Avoid using an electronic device to read in bed; the light from the screen can trick your brain into thinking it is daytime.

12). If your mattress is uncomfortable, replace it.

13). Reading, listening to music, or relaxing before bed with a hot bath or deep breathing can help you get to sleep.

14). If you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes of turning in (or if you wake up and cannot fall back to sleep in 20 minutes), get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.

For additional tips and strategies for living with anxiety, buy Anxiety and Stress Disorders, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Catching Some Shut-Eye


The latest routine to muscle its way into your wellness

plan is not sound healing or meditation, but simply

catching some shut-eye.

Napping can restore alertness, enhance performance,

and reduce mistakes and accidents

according to the US National Sleep Foundation, and

science blogger Eric Barker, writing for Time,

likens a snooze to steroids for your brain.

Despite the benefits of napping, there has long been a

stigma around retreating for some Zs, which is often

perceived as lazy and counterproductive.

However, new wellness studios are including nap

stations to help recharge the mind and body, in the

hope of shaking off this perception.

Nap retreats are now popping up in major cities,

offering the always switched-on urban dweller an

opportunity for some downtime.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Dr Jonathan D Moch

3 simple ways to get more restful sleep

Even people without insomnia can have trouble getting a good nights rest.

Many things can interfere with restorative sleep — crazy work schedules, anxiety, trouble putting down the smartphone, even what you eat and drink.

The following three simple steps can help you sleep better.


When you wake up in the morning, are you refreshed and ready to go, or groggy and grumpy?

For many people, the second scenario is all too common.

Most importantly, you will learn what you can do to get the sleep you need for optimal health, safety, and well-being.

1. Cut down on caffeine

Caffeine drinkers may find it harder to fall asleep than people who do not drink caffeine.

Once they drift off, their sleep is shorter and lighter.

For some, a single cup of coffee in the morning means a sleepless night.

That may be because caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep.

Caffeine can also interrupt sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night.

People who suffer from insomnia should avoid caffeine as much as possible, since its effects can endure for many hours.

Because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, and extreme fatigue, it may be easier to cut back gradually rather than to go cold turkey.

Those who cannot or do not want to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon if they are especially caffeine-sensitive.

2. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco

Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that can cause insomnia.

This potent drug makes it harder to fall asleep because it speeds your heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates fast brainwave activity that indicates wakefulness.

In people addicted to nicotine, a few hours without it is enough to induce withdrawal symptoms; the craving can even wake a smoker at night.

People who kick the habit fall asleep more quickly and wake less often during the night.

Sleep disturbance and daytime fatigue may occur during the initial withdrawal from nicotine, but even during this period, many former users report improvements in sleep.

If you continue to use tobacco, avoid smoking or chewing it for at least one to two hours before bedtime.

3. Limit alcohol intake

Alcohol depresses the nervous system, so a nightcap may seem to help some people fall asleep.

However, alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and the soporific effects disappear after a few hours.

Drinkers have frequent awakenings and sometimes frightening dreams.

Alcohol may be responsible for up to 10% of chronic insomnia cases.

Also, alcohol can worsen snoring and other sleep breathing problems, sometimes to a dangerous extent.

Even one drink can make a sleep-deprived person drowsy.

In an automobile, the combination significantly increases a persons chance of having an accident.

You can also improve the amount and quality of your sleep by getting regular physical activity and creating and sticking to a regular sleep schedule and routine.


The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body.



The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body

If you have ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day —

tired, cranky, and out of sorts.

But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly does more than make you feel groggy and grumpy.

The long term effects of sleep deprivation are real.

It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk.

Science has linked poor slumber with all kinds of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

Why Do We Sleep?


Russell Foster. Why do we sleep?

Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist.

He studies the sleep cycles of the brain.

And he asks.

What do we know about sleep?

Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives.

In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages — and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.