Sleep Deprivation and Recovery

Catching Up on Sleep

After a poor night of sleep (or a few), we may be tempted to think that a day or so of good rest should essentially do the trick for ‘catching up.’ With the help of the article, “Recovering from sleep deprivation is no quick fix” by Tracey Romero of PhillyVoice, we will take a closer look at this assumption. To set the scene, the article begins with a study from a 2010 CDC study stating that 30% of working adults sleep less than or equal to six hours per night. While the study can be considered outdated at this point, do you think that number has improved in 2021? Not likely.

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Romero puts sleep loss in perspective by mentioning that one hour less of sleep during the work week adds up to 5 hours of lost sleep by the weekend. Not only that, but she notes that according to the CDC, “Pulling an all-nighter is the equivalent of having a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.10%.” Romero states that sleep deprivation can be associated with drowsiness, irritability, anger, and stress. Becoming more accident-prone and having trouble concentrating are also mentioned by her. Citing, Romero adds that sleep deprivation affects the ability to learn and recall as well as creativity and the immune system. Finally, while she does not cite specific studies, she states that “Additionally, studies have shown that poor sleep habits can lead to consuming more high-calorie foods and eating later in the day, which raises the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” With a list of issues this extensive, it's important to be intentional about how much sleep you're getting and eliminating poor habits that could be preventing good sleep.

Recovering From Sleep Deprivation

Regarding the recovery process, Romero states that while naps and sleeping in can help, it takes multiple nights or weeks of quality sleep to recover fully depending on your situation. She continues by saying that while “Some studies have shown that sleep in on the weekend can improve insulin sensitivity, fat metabolism, body weight, stress levels, fatigue and performance,” she also adds “Most sleep experts, however, say that it’s better to go to bed earlier than it is to sleep in late.” To emphasize a research-driven approach, we’ll conclude with a study Romero provided and commented on that “it took an average of four days for people to recover from just one hour of sleep debt.”

Closing Thoughts

As stated by Romero and her sources, it takes much longer than a day or so to recover from sleep deprivation and this can vary depending on the amount of deprivation. The CDC statistic that notes that an all-nighter creates the equivalent of a .10% blood-alcohol level should give all people pause considering that this is beyond the legal limit. In all, sleep deprivation can be a serious detriment to daily functioning, and we’re happy to do all we can to bring greater health and wellness to the gaming space.



Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash