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Weekend Sleep-in Doesn’t Make Up For Lack Of Sleep

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Sleeping in on Saturday after a few weeks of too little shuteye may feel refreshing, but it can give a false sense of security.

New research shows chronic sleep loss can’t be cured that easily. Scientists teased apart the effects of short- and long-term sleep loss — and found that the chronically sleep-deprived may function normally soon after waking up, but experience steadily slower reaction times as the day wears on, even if they had tried to catch up the previous night.

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The findings have important safety implications in our increasingly 24/7 society, not just for shift-workers but for the roughly one in six Americans who regularly get six hours or less of sleep a night.

“We knowthat staying awake 24 hours in a row impairs performance to a level comparable to a blood-alcohol content beyond the legal limit to drive,” said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Cohen of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Read More

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