Science is basically telling you to lie-in this weekend

Faith Castro
May 29, 2018

Swedish and U.S. researchers claim that sleeping in on weekends might not be such a bad thing, adding a couple of could of years to our lifespans especially if you don't get enough rest during the other days of the week. The researchers also found that people who slept for eight hours or more every day had a 25% higher mortality rate compared to those who managed six or seven hours a night.

There's no clear-cut answer yet on why sleeping on weekends makes a difference. Short sleepers slept for less than five hours per night, medium sleepers about seven hours and long sleepers for nine or more hours per night.

Can you really "catch up" on your sleep by staying in bed on the weekends?

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And could even help you live longer. For under-65s, they found while sleeping fewer than five hours a night increased mortality by 52 percent, the increased chance of death could be wiped out by getting the right amount once or twice a week.

At the time, that study's lead author, the same Torbjörn Åkersted, said that you could put the findings of his study into practice. The individuals were restricted to 4.67 hours of sleep for each 20-hour time period, which is the equivalent to sleeping around 5.5 hours in a 24-hour day. They are the ones who can compensate with longer rest on the weekends, because there is not as much of a deficit. "It's a fundamental part of our biology, like breathing".

So when Saturday morning rolls around, go ahead and turn off your alarm clock - it's for your own good. If you don't get enough sleep, you wake up with that sleep pressure and start the day with a higher need for it. Probably. But do I feel somewhat like human being again after two days of sleeping late? That, Dr Akerstedt said, was perhaps because older individuals got the sleep they needed.

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