# How to compare cumulative sleep debts? [duplicate]

Let's say that after a period of sleeping perfectly, I sleep for the following amount of hours on some consecutive days. (Let's say the optimal hours I sleep is 8 hours. For the sake of simplicity, all the hours of sleep have equal quality.)

How tired would I be at the end compared to the other option? How much sleep deprivation would I need to get in one night to get a similar level of sleep deprivation as the several consecutive nights?

• 6 hours one night, and 6 hours the next
• versus 7, 7, 7, 7
• 6, 7
• versus 7, 6
• 9, 7
• versus 8, 8

I'm fairly sure it's not just a simple sum of debt. There was an experiment that showed that two weeks of sleeping six hours a night was equivalent to staying up all night. Is there some formula or some general principles to go by then?

• that question did not have a well-researched answer, so this question is still unanswered – honi Oct 1 '15 at 18:21
• I think How much additional sleep is required to recover from a given number of hours of sleep deprivation? is a better duplicate candidate, though it might be complicated since that's marked as a duplicate of that weekend question – mic Oct 2 '15 at 0:53
• I think that weekend question would answer only part of my question. The answer might be yes, you can make up for sleeping 7.5 hours over the week by sleeping 12 over the weekend. But that doesn't answer whether getting 6, 7 is better than 7, 6 for instance. – mic Oct 2 '15 at 1:00