A survey carried out by researchers from Jagiellonian University has found that recovering from insufficient sleep could take much longer than people think. They found that ten days of low quality sleep would have to be replenished by more than a week of sufficient sleep. The symptoms linked to poor sleep tends to persist even after a person sleeps well for a week. These signs include poor concentration and memory.
According to Dr. Jeremy Ochab, the lead study author, insufficient sleep can negatively affect health. These include attention deficits, heart problems, poor memory, car accidents, among others.
Many previous studies have dealt with the process of recovery after chronic sleep deprivation. However, not many have established the amount of time required for the body to recover after long periods of insufficient sleep.
How researchers conducted the study
To carry out their investigation, researchers gathered participants who they asked to put themselves through sleep restriction for ten days. The participants carried out the study in their usual environments. The researchers attached sensors to their wrists to keep track of their sleep and activity. Researchers also conducted EEG gets on them every day and asked questions to determine their accuracy and reaction times.
The period of sleep deprivation was followed by seven days of sufficient sleep to help them recover from their lack of sleep. Researchers found that the participants did not return to their normal levels of activity after the rest period.
While the participants’ reaction times had gone back to the baseline, other measures such as their Stroop tests accuracy, rest-versus-activity patterns, and brain EEG measures.
More work is needed on the subject
Other studies have used different methods to investigate this phenomenon; hence it can be hard to compare them. However, this particular study offers more insight into the effects of sleep deprivation. The researchers acknowledge that their study did not have enough participants; hence more research is needed on the topic. Future studies could also cover the sequence by which body functions return to their baseline and look into longer recovery times.
So far, the study highlights the differences in neuropsychological, motor and behavioral reactions to sleep loss and recovery.