When you begin to lose sleep, it may feel close to impossible to get back on track. Regardless of how daunting it may be, though, it’s worth it to try your best. Catching up on sleep is a complicated process, but it’s an important first step to getting your body accustomed to a schedule.
Scientists call the sleep you lose (that you’re trying to “catch up” on) sleep debt. “The concept of ‘sleep debt’ means that if you’re sleep deprived, you need to catch up on the amount of time you’re missing,” health and wellness coach Caleb Backe, tells Bustle. While different people have different equations to repay this debt, it’s still something you can do on your own.
“The rule of thumb to know how much sleep someone needs is the amount of sleep this person needs to feel refreshed and ready to go the day after without taking caffeine products,” Dr. Hassan Batayneh, a neurologist with fellowship-training in sleep medicine at Sunrise Medical Group in Sunrise, Florida, tells Bustle. So it’s important to try your best to catch up on sleep in a mindful way — and observe how your body reacts.
Here are seven surprising things that actually happen to your body when you try to catch up on sleep, according to experts: