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Dealing With Sleep Debt and Sleep Deficit



Only 27 percent of Singaporeans have an ideal sleep cycle of seven hours or more, according to YouGov's latest survey. Also, according to the Sleep Foundation. 35.2% of adults in the U.S. sleep less than seven hours per night. Sleep debt and sleep deficit are terms used to describe the difference between the number of hours you sleep and the amount of sleep you need.


When you lose sleep, your body goes through several REM (rapid eye movement) phases. This is often a cycle that continues through the night. In addition, if you're not getting a good night's rest, you might notice that you're having a difficult time concentrating or being productive. You might also have feelings of loneliness or social isolation. Other symptoms include heart palpitations and a feeling of hyperventilation.


If you've been consistently falling short of the recommended amount of sleep, it's time to take action. While you may not be able to make up for all the sleep you've lost, you can get more rest on a consistent basis. The best way to combat sleep debt is to reorient your sleep habits to be more supportive of your overall well-being.



You should be aiming for a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, not everyone needs that much. To help you identify sleep problems and work to solve them, keep a sleep diary. Write down your sleep pattern each day. You can then use this information to track your recovery.


You should avoid any caffeine or alcohol before bed. Using a pillow and mattress that are comfortable and free from debris and external noise can also help. Ideally, your room should be completely dark and cool. Try to avoid light sources like televisions or cell phones as these can impede your ability to get rest.



For best results, try to catch up on sleep during the afternoon. Having a nap can also be a great way to reduce your sleep debt. Depending on how severe your sleep deficit is, you might want to add one or two extra hours of sleep on the weekends. As you sleep more, you will naturally adjust to a better sleep rhythm.




Although it's natural to think about sleep as something you need to earn, it's important to remember that it's a daily requirement. If you're unable to catch up on sleep during the week, it's important to take steps to make sure that your sleep is a top priority. Make your sleep a priority for a few weeks and see how it affects your energy, mood, and productivity.

Once you've been able to recover from a sleep deficit, you should re-establish a routine that includes going to bed at the same time every night. You might also want to take a few days to experiment with a new sleeping schedule.


A short period of lack of sleep can affect your health in a variety of ways. It can cause you to feel emotionally, physically tired, and even increase your risk for mental illnesses such as depression. Talk to your doctor or The Air Station if you find you have any sleep disorder condition.


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