Holiday won’t help pay your ‘sleep debt’
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