Janel Davis-Heitzmann PT CSCS
Research recommends seven hours or more of sleep each night but there are many reasons why we may not meet the mark. Travel and work schedules, poor sleep habits and having young children can all take a chunk out of our sleep time. The journal Sleep published research showing that up to six years after the birth of a child, many mothers and fathers don’t sleep as much as they did before their child was born. This is definitely the case in my family!
Can you catch up on that lost sleep? Maybe, but it depends on how much you have lost. Our bodies are good at adjusting to one night of poor sleep. However, chronic sleep loss has been shown to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Experts recommend a 20 minute nap which can make up for “one hour of lost sleep,” according to Jim Horne from Loughborough University. Just don’t take a nap after 3 pm or it may interfere with your nighttime sleep. A new technique in power napping includes a cup of coffee and may be ideal for parents or working professionals. According to Professor Horne, lie down to sleep right after drinking coffee. It takes about 20 minutes for the coffee to kick in and has been shown to be a very effective pick-me-up.