Can You Catch Up On Sleep?


Can you ever catch up with sleep?

Will there ever be a time that I feel fully refreshed?

“Adults should have between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, however 40% of Australian adults still get inadequate sleep.” Sleep Health Foundation.

I thought that I had a goods night last night.

I slept. I actually passed out.

Finally, the pillows felt comfortable and the sheets were soft and just right. Perfect really.

However, I do have an issue. When the baby wakes, I finally wake up and although super comfy I am awake, but yet still very tired.

Maybe my body was not in sync with my need to rest? My body decided that it was this time to make a visit to the bathroom. This could be the reason why I was more awake but still sleepy. I didn’t want to move but decided it was best to go to then allow me to go back to sleep.

I think from memory it was about 2 am.

I do try not to pay attention to the time as then my brain focuses on the time rather than getting back to sleep.

If I don’t know the time, I don’t worry about how much longer I have left to sleep.

Most of the time my sleep is interrupted by my little boy Alexander. He is either hungry, upset, or sick.  Last week he wasn’t well and as you might have guessed I was up helping him feel better.

It is so nice when you can finally be in your room without having to get up every hour or more. To be able to rest and have a good nights sleep.

Why is it when you can finally sleep through  your body wakes up and you struggle to get back to sleep?

Not fair at all!!!!!!

Is it due to your body being used to being up at odd hours for days on end? Maybe it is? I wish my body would get the message that this is not normal.

All this missed sleep and feeling like a zombie made me think…

“Can you ever catch up on lost sleep?”

According to a Scientific American article, “Can You Catch Up on Lost Sleep?” you can if you do the following:

“The good news is that, like all debt, with some work, sleep debt can be repaid—though it won’t happen in one extended snooze marathon. Tacking on an extra hour or two of sleep a night is the way to catch up. For the chronically sleep deprived, take it easy for a few months to get back into a natural sleep pattern, says Lawrence J. Epstein, medical director of the Harvard-affiliated Sleep HealthCenters.”


The 16th of March is World Sleep Day

Preserve your rhythms to enjoy life is the slogan for World Sleep Day. 

Your rhythms are:

  • Daily patterns of alertness
  • Sleep-wake cycle
  • Mood
  • Hormones
  • Digestion
  • Heart rate
  • Body temperature
  • Performance
  • And also lung function

Changes to light and also to sleep-wake cycles have consequences to your sleep.

“Maintaining stable circadian rhythms is key to good health: If we continually disrupt our rhythms, for example through shift work or burning the midnight oil, then we increase the risk of sleep disorders, mental health disorders and chronic health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and even some cancers, which can leave us struggling to enjoy life.”

There are 3 elements of good quality sleep:

    • Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
    • Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation.
    • Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative.

Getting up during the night for kids is not helpful for sleep.

I don’t function very well if I don’t get enough sleep and therefore need to catch up on my rest.

In fact, I’m a shit parent if I don’t enough sleep. Being sleep deprived, having to look after kids, do school drop off, after-school activities and play with everyone takes it out of you when you have had less than an hour or two of sleep.

No sleep also makes me make mistakes, and have accidents (By accidents, I mean bumping into furniture, dropping things, not thinking and being forgetful).

Me very tired and not wanting to get out of bed. It is so comfortable and I really don't want to leave. Pity I had to take kids to school and other things.

Me very tired and not wanting to get out of bed. It is so comfortable and I really don’t want to leave. Pity I had to take kids to school and other things.


I am not sure if I am able to do the 3 elements of good sleep on a regular basis but I’m getting there.

What about you? Do you get deep sleep that is not interrupted?

Lately, I have found that I just lie awake at some point and struggle to get back to sleep. Sometimes I find the bed super comfortable and drift off to the best sleep ever… I just wish I could do of this on a regular basis.

It could be just down to having kids and now I am on call at all times. Any noise means that I’m wide awake.  I used to be such a deep sleeper.

If this is a biological thing that affects women I think it is just another annoyance that us women have to live with and try and manage.

“A study published in NeuroReport looked at the brains of 18 men and women who heard a baby crying while inside a brain scanner. The women’s brain activity suggested an immediate alertness, while the men’s brain activity didn’t change.” (

No wonder I end up wide awake at different times during the night or early morning. Any cry from a baby makes my brain become immediately alert.

Alexnder seems to cry out a few times in the night and still be asleep. This has made me wake up and struggle to get back to sleep.

Not only are we faced with periods, childbirth, sleepless nights with young children, then not sleeping and then to top it off menopause. Cmon and let us have some rest, please!

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