Which Wins: Pulling An All-Nighter or 2 Hours of Sleep?

We’ve all been there: No matter how hard you try to fall asleep, you end up tossing and turning throughout the night without ever getting those zzz’s you need. Or you stay out later than you’d like and only have time for a few hours of sleep. When it comes to sleep deprivation, which one wins: an all-nighter or two hours of sleep?

Pulling an all-nighter
Before energy drinks, college students relied on coffee and other carbonated beverages to stay awake to finish term papers and study for finals. That feeling of euphoria is actually your body trying to tell you to get some shut-eye. You might not ace the exam either because lack of sleep causes short-term memory loss. The same goes for your sleep schedule in your adult life. Over time, too many sleepless nights will affect your performance and your ability to make it to those workouts you love.

Two hours of sleep
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 percent of the population is sleep-deprived. Most people need at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night. But let’s say you stayed up all night binge watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix (we hear you, it’s great). Now it’s 4 a.m. and you have to be up at 6 a.m. If you can fall asleep after the last episode, go for it. Grabbing two hours of shut-eye will help your brain and body recharge enough to make it through the day.

The winner is…
Do yourself a favor and take a two-hour siesta. You will be a little foggy when the alarm goes off, but you will feel better than if you watched the sun come up. Just don’t make it a long-term habit.

Robin M. Gillespie is a NASM-certified fitness professional, social media expert and IDEA Inspired Blogger from Philadelphia who loves cashews.