Hol­i­day won’t help pay your ‘sleep debt’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - City -

Plan­ning a hol­i­day just so you could catch up on your sleep? Well, it might not work! If a re­cent study is to be be­lieved, re­pay­ing your sleep debt in just a week or two is not pos­si­ble, al­though, it might be a good time to im­ple­ment im­proved sleep­ing habits.

The study was put to­gether by pro­fes­sor Henri Tuomile­hto, a sleep spe­cial­ist from the Univer­sity of Eastern Fin­land who works with pa­tients who are sleep de­prived due to the stress and hours at work. He is also a spe­cial­ist in the sleep of pro­fes­sional ath­letes, work­ing with Fin­nish foot­ball and ice­hockey teams, the Olympic Com­mit­tee and more.

He stresses the im­por­tance of good sleep habits through­out the year, and says that a va­ca­tion is not a quick fix for bad sleep.

“Peo­ple work hard be­fore the hol­i­days, think­ing that's when they’ll have time to sleep. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. If you’ve slept poorly over a long pe­riod of time, your hol­i­days will get spent on just re­cov­er­ing.”

How­ever, it's not all bad news, with Tuomile­hto sug­gest­ing that al­though a va­ca­tion won’t re­pay the sleep debt, it is a good time to start im­ple­ment­ing good sleep habits for when you re­turn home. “If you’ve ne­glected your sleep all year, you can’t ex­pect things to sud­denly change when you start your hol­i­days,” he says.

“Peo­ple sleep less than they think they do. Sleep­ing time is often sac­ri­ficed to evening­time house­hold chores, TV watch­ing and us­ing our smart de­vices in the bed. You think you go to sleep at a given time, but in re­al­ity, you are still brows­ing the in­ter­net one hour later. A per­son who sleeps well is en­er­getic. If you want to be more en­er­getic, it’s a good idea to try sleep­ing one hour longer for a cou­ple of weeks,” he says.

Peo­ple tend to work very hard be­fore the hol­i­days, think­ing that’s when they’ll have time to sleep. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way HENRI TUOMILE­HTO, SLEEP EX­PERT

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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