August 2nd, 2010
09:00 AM ET

‘Recovery sleep’ can make up for lost ZZZs

Let's be honest: Sleeping eight blissful hours every night is nothing but a dream for most people, especially during the hectic workweek. Weekends and vacations provide the few opportunities our chronically sleep deprived population has to catch up on some missed hours of shut-eye. Thankfully a new study just published in the journal Sleep has found that those periods of "recovery sleep" are good for us and can actually undo some of the damage caused by sleep deprivation.

The study authors recruited more than 150 healthy sleepers, aged 22 to 45, who regularly slept 6.5 to 8.5 hours a night. None of the participants worked irregular shifts or had traveled internationally in the months leading up to the study.

To begin the study, each person slept 10 hours a night for two nights so the researchers could reduce any pre-existing sleep deficits. Afterwards each participant was only allowed to sleep for four hours a night, for five straight nights. The researchers constantly sampled their level of alertness and neurobehaviors throughout the day.

On the sixth night, each participant was granted a period of "recovery sleep" that ranged upwards of 10 hours. The study authors found that any period of recovery sleep restored the participants' neurobehaviors, including level of alertness and their ability to concentrate.

"You don't realize now just how far off normal you are or how much more alert you could be if you've gotten more sleep," says Dr. David F. Dinges, one of the study authors and Chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Dinges says people who chronically undersleep need regular recovery periods of sleep because most people cannot handle sleeping only a few hours a night.

But burning the midnight oil during the week and then crashing on the weekends is not ideal, despite the health benefits of recovery sleep.

"Getting recovery sleep is important and that may take more than a day, " saysDinges. "Don't get chronically sleep deprived in the first place."

Dinges says that despite society's frenetic pace, sleep should be a priority for everyone.

"It's a profound mistake of people to take for granted you can abuse the system endlessly at no consequence to yourself," says Dinges.

"Prioritize sleep!"

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Answers1

    I remember learning this in college psych class 40 years ago.

    August 2, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kyle

      They still teach it

      August 2, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Wow, I can only guess how much this study cost us.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      we are wayyyyyyy smarter now.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
    • Edward

      I hate sleeping too early, I think that it's a waste of time. I work all day and I want to do as much with the hours I have left over as possible. I don't want to work all day then come home and go to sleep. That would mean that all I do is work which is a waste of a life and I'm not going to sleep my hours away. The way I see it, I'll have all the time in the world to sleep when I'm dead. 4-5 hours a night is good enough for me but 8 is way to much. I wake up at 6am, to get 8 hours of sleep I would have to go to bed at 10pm ... that's ridiculous. I'll keep hitting the sack at 1-2am.

      August 2, 2010 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • sofrito

      Dave, what makes you think this cost YOU anything at all? Most studies are conducted by universities with private funds. People like you that dismiss basic research because it might cost them something (assuming it had, when divided by all 300 million of us would have cost you a quarter). What a disgusting attitude. People like you pull this country backwards. You must be a Republican. Gross!

      August 2, 2010 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • steve15

      wow,another worthless study,who freakin cares,each human know's when they need rest,tell us something we don'nt know,people actually get paid,oh wait,stimulas dollars at work

      August 2, 2010 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • steve15

      ever notice what a pompus ass rick sanchez is,he's so full of himself,it's so obvious,his show is painfull to watch,no wonder why his ratings are soooooooooo bad.

      August 2, 2010 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • Jaime

      Sofrito, I love how you yell at Dave for making assumptions, then you turn around and make the assumption that he's Republican. Smart.

      August 2, 2010 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
    • Luga

      @sofrito – Most of these studies are paid for by federal grants in conjunction with private funding....so yes...it does cost us. As for your Republican comment it just goes to shows that intolerance and ignorance can be found in both parties you sad little child.

      August 2, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • AWebster

      @sofrito – I agree with your sentiment that research is important, and I'm a democrat, but what's with the judging & name calling? Give liberals a good name and quit being so judgmental!

      August 2, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
    • DM

      What's substantial about this study is the level of control they had by use of their experimental design. Most research in this area is not experimental. If you're not a scientist you have no business commenting on the scientific merit of these types of studies – you just don't get it. Not only is it a great design, it's a very important contribution to human health.

      August 2, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • deprived

      Wish my employer would realize the benefits that a full nights sleep would provide...

      August 2, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • My Camel

      Ya Know, ignorant people just don't get it. Studies are funded. those funding them, give money for the funding. their money is made from "us" the tax payer-the people that spend the money we earn, doing our jobs, which pay the necessary taxes for business/gov't to continue to "make money". try to understand, people. we all pay. it's how the money is used, that's at issue here, not where it comes from. That being said, a $2,000 hammer is still a $2,000 hammer, no matter what it's original design was for. If we don't take control of our gov't, they'll control us (HUH? Isn't that already happening?)

      August 17, 2010 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  2. Halfs

    Oh good, We can repair some of the damage. Everything will be okay.

    I am fairly certain that soon society will begin to think of each nights sleep as nothing more than a 6 hour vacation from work. The hours you sleep will be allotted by your job, and it will become a status symbol.

    August 2, 2010 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • z

      so true

      August 2, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      it already is a status symbol. Have you looked at any bums? Do they get sleep? just shut it. some people cant afford to sleep and you shouldnt say negative things about poor people.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:48 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Wow....Yum...more sleep, and switch to decaf! He wasn't insulting the homeless...

      August 2, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jennie

      For many, I believe this is already true.

      August 3, 2010 at 05:30 | Report abuse |
  3. Kraig Rasool

    I ahve come to learn that six hours is generally enough sleep for me....and if on a sunday I sleep more I never seem to
    get to the right mode...I wake up go back to sleep often during the day especially if I have nothing to do...Watch some intelligent programming which makes my brain think and I dose off..... so each person I suppose is soooo different from the next. The sleep wars continue.....

    August 2, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      🙂 I'm the complete opposite of you. I need at least 8 hours a night and am stoked with 9 hours every night. I feel like a champ the next day. But aside from a full time job, I am an athlete too and sleep is my "body" recovery time. If I get less than 7 I can be a bitch the next day.

      August 3, 2010 at 00:02 | Report abuse |
  4. Tooty

    One key to good sleep is to be physically active during the day. To spend almost the entire day in a sitting position and then go to bed = poor sleep.

    August 2, 2010 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      Absolutly so true! Our entire society is doomed unless we get away from computers, I-Pods/Pads, Television, Gaming. We need to get back to face to face interactions and more physical activity.

      August 2, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I agree. As a nation we live a sedentary lifestyle but are still sleep deprived. Obesity is out of control. Every time I travel out of the country and return, I am disgusted by how fat the citizens of this nation have become.

      August 2, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      Backberry ok?

      August 2, 2010 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
  5. Bonny

    If you have slightly less than normal sleep during the week (say 7 hours), I wonder if the benefits of adding those additional hours of sleep on the weekend outweighs the problems of getting your body off its normal work-week schedule. Should you sleep on the weekends until you naturally wake up?

    August 2, 2010 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lone

      So long as you don't sleep past 11/11:30 when you've passed a chemical-waking period that leaves you drowsy the rest of the day.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
  6. Lone

    I feel poor when I don't get enough sleep. Getting more makes me feel better.

    Is there a Razzy-like award out there, a Dohbel if you will, for science? This article could have been a paragraph long.

    August 2, 2010 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. KinNY

    I use to sleep a sound 8 hours every night but now, in my late 40's I'm lucky if i get 5 hours. Then I get the 3pm blues. I do catch up a little on weekends, but I think its time to see a doctor.

    August 2, 2010 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rbnlegend

      The doctor will tell you to sleep more. There's no pill to take. The cure to lack of sleep is more sleep. If you are not having good sleep, there's stuff they can test for, but if you just aren't going to bed, there's nothing to be done for it other than go to bed on time.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • john

      I usually get around 6 hours of sleep and 2:30-3:30 is hell. That 5hour Energy commercial is so right. What sucks is that once night time rolls around I'm wide awake and I cant get to sleep until 2am, if I go to bed early then I toss and turn and get really bored until around 2am when I finally fall asleep.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • David

      Restful sleep is one of the most basic health requirement we neglect. It's when the brain is actively helping the body mend and rejuvenate itself, repairing the damage caused by stress and modern life. When you get a good night's sleep you wake relaxed, energized, it's easier to remember things, be more productive and alert at work, and happier in our relationships. It makes a world of difference.

      Unfortunately, the medical establishment can't really help. They will treat the symptoms with pills to knock you out, but that's not going to get you restful sleep. With the right environment it's really easy to get a good nights sleep. This includes watching the amount of alcohol you consume in the evening. You want to keep your bedroom dark, a bit cooler than normal, and quiet. You want a bed that will provide support (in any position) keeping your body straight, allowing perspiration to quickly evaporate, and keeping your body at the correct temperature.

      August 2, 2010 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Try working out in the evenings and see if exercise helps you sleep through the night.

      August 3, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse |
  8. Ron Burk

    Short-term cognitive recovery does not mean avoidance of long-term health problems. Ongoing research looks to chronic irregular melatonin cycles as a possible culprit behind: auto-immune disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and more. The two biggest environmental hormonal signals in our evolution were light and dark. We disrupt them for our convenience, but at our peril.

    August 2, 2010 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. SeanNJ

    Unfortunately, with all the things we're supposed to do in a day and the minimum amount of time we're supposed to do them, you'd need a 40 hour day to fit it all in.

    August 2, 2010 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. sollipsist

    Right, and binging on the weekend helps make up for nutrition lost from starving yourself all week 😛

    Oh, and Halfs: before that happens, they'll figure out a way to make our sleep commercially productive...just like modern communications technology made off-hours productive. The 168-hour work week awaits!

    August 2, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Pirogi

    I would like to see a study done on the sleep requirements and the sleep reality of pregnant women, especially those working outside the home and others who cannot nap during the day. I would be interested in the effects on cognitive functioning and short-term implications as well as long-term implications for the health of the mom and baby.

    People don't value sleep, but I suspect that during pregnancy, it is even more important than for non-pregnant people.

    August 2, 2010 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CG

      Or, for that matter, the sleep deprivation of new parents. I've had disrupted sleep for the last 6 months attending to my new baby at night and then getting up early for a full work day. And with a baby, there doesn't seem to be any sleeping in on the weekend to try and catch back up!

      August 2, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
  12. Sleepy

    Roughly 4 to 5 hours per night (day actually since 3rd shift) for the last 12 years, plus on average one 28+ hour day per week for the last 5 years....

    Thats roughly a 15,200 hour sleep deficit....

    If I start sleeping 10 hours a day, I can make up that deficit by sometime in June 2031!

    August 2, 2010 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. otto

    This is exactly the opposite of what I've always heard. Not that I could know for myself as I rarely get more than 6 hours of sleep

    August 2, 2010 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Amanda

    Haaaaaaaaa. "Prioritize sleep." What are people with babies/small children supposed to do?

    August 2, 2010 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A caring person

      Ignore them?

      August 2, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • Pirogi

      Share sleep with them. Non-westernized countries know that sleeping with babies and children is normal, and actually helps babies and children regulate their bodily functions and "learn" to sleep and live well.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • mike

      stay at boat longer with The Coleman

      August 2, 2010 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
  15. Tannise

    This is awesome news! I should start cathing up right now 🙂

    August 2, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yum

      YOU"RE FIRED!!!

      August 2, 2010 at 13:16 | Report abuse |
  16. Tannise

    Oops! I meant "catching"

    August 2, 2010 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. dan

    Recovery sleep on the weekend sounds appealing, but can set the stage for a delayed waking time ("sleeping-in") causing the person's biological clock to delay body's expected sleep time. In our modern world, with significantly more light in the evening hours compared to what was true in our evolutionary past, many of us have a built in tendency to shift our expected sleep time late, leading to problems getting to sleep at a desired time, and then problems waking at an appropriate time come Monday morning.
    The need for recovery sleep is real, but has to be balanced against the problem of sleeping in on weekends, getting our sleep phase delayed in terms of our circadian clock, and as a result not being able to get to sleep at an appropriate time during weeknights while we "must" get up earlier than our clock would want for work, groggy and unrested.
    Consistency in waking times and adequate morning light are the key.
    This (sleep phase delay) is a significant problem in high school and college students, but we've seen it in patients in their 60s. They can sleep just fine from 4am to noon, but can't go to sleep at 11 and can't get up for morning events without great suffering.
    Recovery sleep can be a blessing and a problem.

    August 2, 2010 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ItsAlwaysSomthin

      thanks Dan, thought proviking! now I am reminded of ARD (eating factors), Stress factors, W-w/o partner, SnoOOooring Too! And REM not mentioned once in this article or comments Yet!! Wishing I could break away foa a good Nap!!
      Thx for your comments!

      August 2, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
  18. Richp, Easton, Pa

    Took me about 30 years to figure that out. I allocate 8 hours no matter what, that's why god created PVR's..

    August 2, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Jeff Florence

    I fell asleep reading this =)

    August 2, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yum

      that might be narcolepsy. Not something to smile about.

      August 2, 2010 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
  20. MK

    It actually took a formal study to determine that if you don't sleep much your systems don't function properly and that if you take some time to get a little more sleep occassionally it will improve it some.... duh. I'm glad we're focusing on the important things and not just the common sense no-brainer things like cancer or MS.

    August 2, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      Well when you don't sleep you suffer more stress. Stress alone has been shown to cause higher amounts of cancer, heart attacks, and many of the diseases we face today.

      So if you start sleep better, you would then reduce your chances of getting those diseases.

      August 2, 2010 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
  21. conjuice

    This....is news?! Sleeping makes you less tired? NO!!!! Thank god someone did this study, what would humanity do without this groundbreaking information? I wonder how much money the government contributed to this one. I am dying to know how much money was wasted.


    August 2, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply

      You would want to blow up every University in the United States if you knew how many millions of dollars are wasted on this bullcrap.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Why are you so exercised about the amount of money spent on studies? And what makes you think they're a complete waste of resources? Many studies don't yield results that will have an immediate impact on our daily lives or health, but what scientists learn from them leads to more research that DOES provide new understanding and increased knowledge.

      I think perhaps you should volunteer for a study on anger management.

      August 2, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      Hey Beezwax, Shut your pie hole! This is a complete waste. Only a complete moron would glean anything from this abomination of a study. Oh, like you !

      August 3, 2010 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
    • KryptoNIGHT

      HAHHA> Beezwax. You sound like a bitter old maid. I've seen your comments before and you are just an angry little girl arent you? Go take a nap sweetheart.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • TuneIn

      Oh, look! Same poster using two different names. What's your problem? Can't refute what nonov said?

      Do you know who paid for this study?

      Why are you so bothered by someone else's post?

      August 3, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Hey, conjuice: I looked at your blog. You ought to figure out the difference between "whose" and "who's" if you expect to be taken as anything other than a joke.

      August 3, 2010 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
  22. Philadelphia

    Any number of children's books in my son's room could have told them this.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yum

      Is your son a Pediatrician?

      August 2, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
  23. LA guy

    So if I sleep, it will make up for sleep I had lost.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Uh huh

    What if you go to bed at a normal time and can't go to sleep.....this happens to me every night. So I get up until I get sleepy, which sometimes can be 2 AM. Then to bed, then get up at 6 AM. Tired all day long, but when bedtime comes, can't go to sleep. Grrrrrrr......

    August 2, 2010 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Manic Zorbian

      Ditto here. I can't go to sleep at a normal hour. I've been trying to work back to a "normal" sleep cycle for most of my life. I can't concentrate during the day so I now work at night, it's the only time I can get things done. I usually can't sleep until 3 or 4a.m.

      August 2, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Hey guys you should really look up a sleeping disorder called delayed sleep phase syndrome(dsps) It is a circadian rhythm disorder in which the patient has a hard time adjusting their sleep phase to the societal norm. I personally can never get to sleep until really late as well and I find it extremely difficult to wake up in the morning. Although when given my own time to sleep I sleep perfectly for a good amount of time. It is often misdiagnosed among patients though as other sleeping problems. Just look into it because that may be the case. I hope this helps in some way because when I found out about dsps it basically changed my life to know what was wrong with me all these years.

      January 15, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse |

    RECOVERY SLEEP??? Oh, you mean a freakin' NAP? Yeah, I think we have heard of this concept before. Yet another rediculous waste of a study. Besides, too many naps can mess up your sleep cycle so this is not infallible information. Also, everyone is different. Some people really need less sleep, others need more. They can take this waste of a study and shove it. I AM SO SICK OF THIS WASTEFULNESS!

    August 2, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Be Quiet

      Yum, do you think you've left enough comments yet? Get a life.

      August 2, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • gearkat

      When you learn to spell ridiculous I'll listen to what you have to say. Until then, learn that science is always in a state of refinement and that the people who write these 'science' articles really have no clue what they are talking about, or they need to dumb it down so an average joe who skipped science class can complain about how this study 'has been done before'.

      August 2, 2010 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • KryptoNIGHT

      Gearkat: Shut up retard. I cannot stand you grammar police. They have a point. These studies are a waste, and so are you. Buzz off!

      August 3, 2010 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      What's wrong A. S. S.? Did you have to change names because your posts under your original moniker are obviously the work of some adolescent pea-brain?

      Why don't you explain why this study is wasteful? Since you know so much about it, tell me who funded it, and how many subjects participated. Were the subjects paid?

      August 3, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • gearkat

      @KryptoNight – Biggest sign of a loser? Adopting a highly aggressive defensive manner. Maybe you'll be smart enough to realize which one of us this is, but I doubt it.

      August 3, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
  26. LetsFixIT

    A few years after college, at a time in my life with lLtd busn travel etc etc, the 'normality' of a daily schedule for 2 years or so (with sleep issue too!) I realized that many of us are living on the wrong planet – we require a (appx.) 30 hr. cycle/ day to live normally with sufficient sleep! Has the govt. ever invested in this research point ?? Happy Dreams!!

    August 2, 2010 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jen

    I think this study is interesting because I've been told for years that you can't "make up" sleep and the best you can do is try to average 8 hours a night. I feel like this study could have gone one step further though. It does sound somewhat logical that a person's alertness and neurobehaviors would improve after 10 hours of sleep. Would that person see the same benefits from 8 hours of sleep? If one good night's sleep will reset us, does it really require the extra hours? Or is it really just beneficial because it's more than 4 hours?

    August 2, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Edward

    I hate sleeping too early, I think that it's a waste of time. I work all day and I want to do as much with the hours I have left over as possible. I don't want to work all day then come home and go to sleep. That would mean that all I do is work which is a waste of a life and I'm not going to sleep my hours away. The way I see it, I'll have all the time in the world to sleep when I'm dead. 4-5 hours a night is good enough for me but 8 is way to much. I wake up at 6am, to get 8 hours of sleep I would have to go to bed at 10pm ... that's ridiculous. I'll keep hitting the sack at 1-2am. If I'm that tired during the day a cup of coffee is all I need and I'm okay.

    August 2, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob

      If only it were as easy as you say. Personally, I can't function on 5 hours a night of sleep. I need 8 hours or else I suffer the effects of sleep deprivation the next day, i.e., extreme lethargy, short temperedness, inability to concentrate, low mood and drowsiness. What good are those extra hours being "awake" suffering these symptoms?

      August 2, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
  29. Brass Pair

    While this article states the obvious, good luck if you're a parent with a newborn baby. Sleep deprivation will become the new normal for a time.

    August 2, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yum

      Stop whining like a baby. HAHA I made a joke.

      August 2, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      @ EDWARD

      If only it were as easy as you say. Personally, I can't function on 5 hours a night of sleep. I need 8 hours or else I suffer the effects of sleep deprivation the next day, i.e., extreme lethargy, short temperedness, inability to concentrate, low mood and drowsiness. What good are those extra hours being "awake" suffering these symptoms?

      August 2, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
    • morezzzzspleez

      So true! And what about REM sleep that's supposed to be so beneficial, but only comes after you've been asleep for 4 hours? You have to get up every 2 hours to feed the baby! No wonder people get post partum.

      August 2, 2010 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
  30. Sherri Adams

    I was sleep deprived, by choice, for years. Four hours a night plus lots of coffee and sugar to keep me awake through the afternoons. What did I learn? I blew out my thyroid! Now I am exhausted all the time no matter how much sleep I get, I have gained weight despite my efforts, I have a very slow metabolism. It is not worth it. If I had it to do again I would get my full 8 hours. It leads to better health.

    August 2, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glynne1964

      Sherri, I think it's odd that you deprived yourself intentionally. Me? Unintentially. Insomnia runs in my family. And it's something I constantly battle. I see everything that you speak of in my life. I had to have my thyroid removed back about 8 years ago.

      I do sleep when my body says, "Hey! No more! Need rest!" It's not a good way to go, but it's better then laying awake all night staring into the darkness.

      Here's to better health for both of us!!!

      August 2, 2010 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  31. Andy

    If only we could make sleep and well being a priority instead of profits promotions and bigger faster more more money in this country.

    – A

    August 2, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Neal Jones

    I get 5 hours per night during the week and 10 hour per night on the weekends. Works for me.

    August 2, 2010 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yum

      so interesting!!! call Random House, I think you have a book deal coming.

      August 2, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • SteveN

      Yum, you are a world-class jerkoff.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
  33. Melissa

    Heh, I have a tendency to sleep about 7 hours on the weekdays and then 10 hours on the weekend. I guess now I know why.

    August 2, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. morezzzzspleez

    I think eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and eight hours of play would make the world a happier place.

    August 2, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. mind body nerd

    Everyone needs a different amount of sleep. The human body is a complex thing. Some of us are more sensitive to stress and environmental factors than others, and need more sleep to recover. Some people can stay up late and then have a jolt of caffeine in the morning to get going. Others need a week to recover from an "all-nighter."

    Don't force yourself to sleep a long time if you don't need it. Don't beat yourself up if you need more sleep than the supposed average human being. If you sleep a lot and still feel terrible or exhausted then see your doctor.

    August 2, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. NJD

    That's a dangerous argument to be pushing to the general population. This kind of sleep deprivation study also needs to take into account other "regular" factors:
    1. Casual consumption of alcohol
    2. Those people who suffer from illnesses that are inflamed from sleep deprivation like depression, cold viruses.
    3. Our relationship with television also plays a huge role since it actually decreases the quality of our sleep.

    The study would have been more beneficial if it directly addressed the quality and frequency of REM cycles during those sleep deprivation and recovery periods.

    August 2, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. JFWilder

    Duh...and we needed a study to tell us that?

    August 2, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jean

    Today, we tend to work more and more, and when we go to bed we take all the days problems with us, this causing us to have troubles falling asleep. We don't sleep enough and the overall quality of our sleep is low. This in turn translates into irritabiliy, nervousness, lack of energy, lack of focus, and an overall feeling of fatigue. Lack of sleep can become downright dangerous for us. Not only is it not good for our physical well being it can also cause sleep deprivation which can interfere with daily activities and with proper decision making. Our bodies need regular sleep. http://www.wix.com/jmjensen/sleeplikeababy

    August 2, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Danny IT Guy

    Thanks CNN for the article, granted I knew this already but its nice to be reminded the facts behind my crazy work weeks. Thanks!!

    August 2, 2010 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Young Sinatra

    Sleep is the NEW sex. In the 80's at a party people would ask how much money are you making? Now people ask how much sleep are you getting? Sleep is the NEW status symbal. All the celebrities who can afford it talk about making sure they get enough sleep now.

    August 2, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Doug Funny

    @ Answers.

    Funny, my college psych professor told us the opposite: lost sleep is lost sleep. period. And ther eis nothing you can do to make up for it. So, in this case, the article was relevant, smart@$$

    August 2, 2010 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. jj

    I used to love just getting 4-6 hours of sleep a night. I'd rather be up than out, especially late at night. I didn't even enjoy sleeping that much. At 50, I started to get depressed and overweight. And I thought – why don't I enjoy sleep? I had a sleep study and found I had apnea – who knows for how long. I now have to use the Cpap, but I enjoy sleeping and feel a whole lot better. I shoot for 7 hours a night, which the doctor thought was enough for me.
    Many would rather have entertainment than sleep. Some people may only need 5 hours, with no side effects. I thought I was one of them – you may thing so too...

    August 2, 2010 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jesse Alexander Helms, Jr.

    Who can sleep with these Lib-Tards at the wheel?

    August 2, 2010 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. John Barcheski


    August 2, 2010 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Barcheski


    August 2, 2010 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Is that why you forgot you already posted?

      August 2, 2010 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
    • Barbell Sandwich

      Your attempt at a joke = fail. Better luck next time loser.

      August 3, 2010 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax


      August 3, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  46. bvo

    In my twenties, now sixties, I learned of the restorative power of sleep, and the recovery from sleep deprivation. This from personal experience and the experiences of my friends and associates. The trick is to fatigue yourself so that the subsequent sleep is really deep and sound. The health benefits span the entire physiological and mental spectrums, not just the neurological. The body can heal itself to many extents, provided no major injuries or diseases/conditions are involved. But good sleep should help in the recovery, if possible, from those as well.

    August 2, 2010 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Cosmicsnoop

    How can we recover the time lost reading this?

    August 2, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. nonovyerbeezwax

    For those who are whining about what such studies cost and how they do little good, you might want to check out the studies that show that not getting enough sleep can contribute to the development of diabetes.

    Then again, Darwin was right. If you're too stupid to learn, who needs you anyway?

    August 2, 2010 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      Hey Beezwax, anyone with half a brain stem already knows the devastating effects of lack of sleep. I venture to say I know far more about it than you do because I work with sleep deprived patients. So, why don't you do yourself a favor and calm down. Why are you so angry? Maybe you should research the devastating effects anger has on your well-being. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Arguing with people online really speaks volumes as to your maturity level.

      August 3, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • TuneIn

      Ooooohhh, you work with sleep-deprived patients, do you? Then perhaps you can explain what's wrong with this study. Go ahead, dear. I can hardly wait.

      August 3, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Hey, Greg, oh learned professional-who-works-with-sleep-deprived-patients, did you read what this study found out about cardiovascular disease and sleep? What did the authors of the study do as far as excluding subjects with diabetes from participating in the study, and why?

      Go ahead, oh great scientist, illuminate all for us!

      August 3, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Oh, "Greg"??

      August 3, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • TuneIn

      Greggy's only "patient" is the girl he plays "doctor" with when his parents are at work.

      August 3, 2010 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
  49. Someone somewhere

    Actually, studies of this sort are the things that train research scientists – and I have seen some pretty bad studes.
    BUT – to the topic at hand – my company believes in work/life balance – there are 162 hours per week, you'd better be working 81 and the rest are yours – life is 50:50 work:everything else, so you're balanced!!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. islandboy808

    @someone somewhere

    There were times when some business just did not care about their employees balance. I look at physicians who once had to work around at least 100 hours a week during their residency years. That was ridiculous amount of time and I can't believe that it took a lawsuit for the hours to be brought down to 80 hours a week. Some employers of those jobs just want to work you around the clock and don't care about how you do it. Balance is just a lawsuit away for them to care about the well being of their employees.

    August 3, 2010 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply

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