Weight Loss Day 55

Day 55


Sleep Debt!

Sleep is the main reason that you’re tired!!! At least for the majority of us and that is down to the fact that we have not had enough sleep or that sleep may have been not deep enough at times or that it has been too fragmented

You may be asking, “Why is sleep so important? Many people function fine on a few hours of sleep each day.” True, to the extent that you assume they are functioning “fine” on the outside. But based on how the human body is made, sleep is essential to optimum health.

The real truth is that research shows that the amount of people that can function adequately in the long term rounded up to a whole number and expressed as a percentage is 0%.

Did you know there are functions the brain and body need to complete every day that can only be accomplished while we sleep? If we deprive our body of 7 to 9 hours of continuous sleep per day, we are in danger of sleep deprivation and the ill health that follows it.

We live in a society that is open 24/7, and with the World Wide Web, we can journey to far-off lands every night via gaming and chat rooms. Many people gladly sacrifice two hours of sleep to watch TV or to chat online, leaving only six hours of sleep, and interrupted at that  – as opposed to the needed number of hours.

To make the long story short, each of us has a certain sleep requirement every night that we need to keep us functioning at our optimal level. When we fall short of the minimal sleep requirement we incur a sleep debt that prevents us from functioning at our best. This debt, if not addressed, can add up over time, very rapidly, and significantly alter our productivity, mood, and even our safety.

We can think of sleep debt like a growing weight over us that we have to carry around throughout the day. Unless paid back, the debt gets bigger and bigger while we're awake until...Crash!!! we are overcome by that weight and we're asleep!

For instance, if you need 9 hours of sleep every day, but you end up sleeping for only 6 hours each day for a week, you would have effectively incurred a sleep debt of (9-6) x 7 = 21 hours. If I did that for 2 weeks--just 2 weeks!--I would have incurred a sleep debt of a WHOPPING 42 HOURS!

So what happens when you have a high sleep debt? It starts taking over your life and your mind. It causes you to be moody and grumpy towards people around you. Most importantly, it shuts down your eyelids when you least expect it, putting you at risk for accidents (especially on the road) that can be fatal.

In the Short-term. If you have built up ten hours of sleep debt over a week, several days of getting the sleep you need, plus an additional hour or so per night, should take care of the debt. Then you can return to getting the sleep your body needs (without the additional hour).   Long-term. Similarly, if you’ve accumulated hundreds or thousands of hours of sleep debt due to a lifetime of bad sleep habits, it won’t take you years to repay the debt. Instead, a few weeks of getting the sleep you need, plus a bit more, should clear the slate.

You don’t have to make up every hour because your body recovers from sleep deprivation by sleeping in a more efficient manner. When you start to catch up on sleep, you initially skip through Stages 1 and 2 more quickly and spend a higher-than normal percentage of time in deep sleep—the type of sleep most critical for physical and mental recuperation.

Once the sleep debt is repaid, the ratios return to their normal levels. Just as the key to eliminating a monetary debt is to continue paying more than needed each month until your debt is erased, the same is true with sleep. You will know you have paid back your debt when you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and you are not at all sleepy until you go to bed at night.


According to the research, the trend toward sleeplessness is overwhelming:

  • 63% of Australian adults get less than 8 hours of sleep on weeknights
  • 7 out of 10 Australian experience frequent sleep problem.
  • Women are more likely than men to have insomnia, which is characterized by difficulty getting to sleep, maintaining sleep, or waking too early
  • Half of Australian adults have experienced insomnia at least a few nights a week during the past year
  • 46% need an alarm clock to wake up four or more mornings a week
  • 53% of Australian adults have driven while drowsy. 20% say they have dozed off while driving

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