We’ve all spent nights tossing and turning, growing more frustrated by the minute just from not sleeping. A new study from Penn Medicine shows that the more time you spend in bed trying to sleep, the worse a sleep you’ll actually have–so you probably shouldn’t indulge in that extra hour of shut eye.
The study looked at 416 good sleepers who kept sleep journals for a 6-month period. Unfortunately, 7 per cent of those who recorded their sleep patterns developed long-term chronic insomnia and 20 per cent developed short-term insomnia… just from not keeping a consistent sleep schedule.
Those who slept pretty well for the most part didn’t change their sleep times throughout the trial, while those who did develop chronic insomnia spent growing amounts of time in bed trying to sleep.
People who suffer from insomnia “go to bed early, get out of bed late and they nap,” said Michael Perlis, the study’s head author. “While this seems a reasonable thing to do, and may well be in the short term, the problem in the longer term is it creates a mismatch between the individual’s current sleep ability and their current sleep opportunity; this fuels insomnia.”
So maybe trying to catch some extra r & r isn’t the way to go–not when catching up on rest is what messes up your ability to sleep in the first place. Our bodies respond well to going to bed and getting up at the same times each day, so even if you’re a little sleep deprived one day, try sticking to your sleep schedule instead of binge sleeping. It could save you in the long run.