Sleeping well is important and the quality of night sleep can influence the course of the day. It may happen to sleep little or badly and wake up tired or unrested. But does the so-called “lost” sleep recover by sleeping maybe a little more the following night or by allowing yourself to rest?

Thanks to the contribution of Dr. Lara Fratticci, Neurologist in Humanitas, we try to understand if it is possible to really recover the lost sleep and if a nap in mid afternoon is actually restful.

First of all, it is necessary to distinguish between those who are temporarily in deficit of sleep, because perhaps they have spent a night awake or have slept little and/or badly, and those who live with a chronic deprivation of sleep. In this regard, a study of the Medical Center in Boston, conducted by Dr. Daniel Cohen, compared some people staying awake for 24 hours in succession to others who had slept about five hours per night for three weeks, which is considered little. Those who had been awake for 24 hours have recovered with a ten hour sleep, while for the others the recovery has been much more difficult. As a result, the more chronic the sleep deficit is, the more difficult it is to recover,” explains Dr. Fratticci.


Nap: yes or no?

The nap can also be effective, especially in the afternoon. However, it is not recommended for it to become a habit, but it should be considered in the moment of need. In order to be truly rested, a nap must last from half an hour to a maximum of one hour, in order to reach the REM phase and thus allow the recovery of energy “, explains Dr. Fratticci.


Why is it important to sleep well?

Although the number is indicative and may be slightly lower or higher for some subjects, night rest should last 7-8 hours. Sleeping less, as well as excessive sleep, has a negative impact on wellbeing and health,” emphasizes the specialist.

The benefits of sleeping well:

  • Helps memory, concentration and attention.
  • Reduces cholesterol and the risk of cerebrovascular diseases.
  • Helps you eat properly, countering excess weight. The leptin (small protein hormone) follows the circadian rhythm and increases overnight, giving a sense of satiety and preventing the onset of nocturnal hunger attacks.
  • Counters diabetes. Sleeping little increases stress hormone, cholesterol and sugars and facilitates insulin-resistance development.
  • The risk of arterial hypertension, which is also linked to increased levels of stress hormones, is further reduced.
  • It is good for the skin. Cortisol hormone in fact makes the skin more elastic, acting on collagen and elastin.
  • It helps general wellbeing and good mood tone, with positive repercussions on personal performance and relationship life.