Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What is sleep debt?

This shouldn’t be a difficult question to answer especially for someone who has sleep apnea. After days, weeks and years of losing sleep due to sleep apnea your body has been seriously shorted of sleep.

But what are the consequences of this sleep debt?

First of all, an explanation of sleep debt is in order. There are two types of sleep debt:

1. Partial sleep deprivation, which is when someone sleeps too little for days or even weeks.
2. Total sleep deprivation is when there is a total lack of sleep for the same period of time.

So you lose sleep every night just like most of us with sleep apnea do, can you make it up later? That would be quite a few hours of sleep to make up especially if you have had sleep apnea for years. It would seem impossible to catch up if your sleep debt is what amounts to months of sleep deprivation.

If you get your sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, cured the best possible way to make up for sleep debt is to try to sleep a little longer each night and gradually you will regain most if not all of the sleep you lost.

In my case I couldn’t even guess how much sleep debt I have. My sleep apnea has been keeping me up for many years. Hopefully my next round on the cpap machine will be successful and I can start working off that sleep debt.

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