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Can I catch up on lost sleep? We ask an expert

By Coco Khan

29 Jul 2022 · 2 min read

Editor's Note

In this article, we hear from a sleep expert on the question that seems to come up time and time again: can you catch up on sleep?

Conventional wisdom says the misery of a sleepless night is nothing a catchup won’t fix. But a new scientific review argues that “sleep debt” cannot always be paid back, with some of the damage from sustained sleep deprivation likely to be irreversible. Are lie-ins meaningless? On a sunny Monday, I asked Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, director of the University of Surrey’s sleep research centre.

Did you get a good night’s sleep?

It wasn’t too bad, but studies show Sunday or Monday often aren’t good.

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