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Can you make up for the lack of sleep?

First part of this question is quite obvious:
- with naps or sleeping in on the weekends, can I make up some of the sleep I lack at night since most of us have those dreadful 9-5 workdays?

second part (which is harder) is if I realize I have been sleep deprived my whole life (teenage years, and early twenties) (but TONS during college years)
is it possible to make up for those damages later on or has it already set in and is going to permanently effect me?

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  • Aug 18 2013: There is such a thing as 'sleep debt' which can, indeed, be caught up on. However, how much of this 'debt' can accumulate is something you'd need to study further. For during sleep. the brain creates serotonin, repairs cells and runs through 'system checks' of all your physiology (hence the morning stiffy guys wake up with - reproductive check).

    So, it's only logical to presume that 'too' much sleep deprivation - i.e., deprivation of the required bodily processes only accomplished during sleep - would have repercussive effects that may not be fixed by merely catching on a bit of shut-eye. For example, if you're an athletic and exercise regularly, destroying muscle cells in the process, if you do not get adequate, consistent rest, your body cannot sufficiently repair the cells you break down in your exercise routines. Thus, you'll likely get injured more easily and inevitably won't be getting the benefits of the work you're putting in. I'm sure this rule applies to any and all the other reparative process that take place during sleep.
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      • Aug 19 2013: One thing's for certain: the benefits of napping during the day are scientifically proven. Some companies even implement policies to promote employees taking afternoon naps.

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