Recovering from sleep deprivation takes longer than you might think

By editorial lifestyle

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Go to bed early to catch up on sleep if you hardly slept a wink the night(s) before. Do you sometimes do that too? Research shows that this is actually not that much of a benefit. You have a lot of hours of sleep to catch up on before you really recover from sleep deprivation.

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The Sapienza University in Rome recently conducted a study on recovery from sleep deprivation and it shows that you doesn’t really improve after a night (or two) of sleep. Twenty-somethings who slept thirty percent less than was good for ten nights in a row still had not fully recovered after seven ‘good’ nights. The researchers draw this conclusion on the basis of an analysis of the brain.

Sleep expert Bhanu Prakash Kolla explains to CNN that only after seven nights of good sleep, the responsiveness is back to normal. “But other cognitive tasks, such as accuracy, have not fully recovered even after seven nights. The study also shows that memory takes longer to return to its normal level.”

Another US study from 2000 already showed that people who slept less than six hours a night for two weeks, and felt that they were functioning well, just as bad cognitively as people who hadn’t slept a wink for two nights.


Sleep deprivation can lead to concentration problems and difficulty learning new things and making decisions even after one night. It also does little good for creativity.

Depending on your age, it is recommended to get between seven and ten hours of sleep at night.

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