Sleeping In On The Weekends Can Help You Live Longer, Study Finds

Faith Castro
May 25, 2018

Torbjörn Åkerstedt (Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet) is the co-author of the study. Recently, the Journal of Sleep Research has issued Swedish study which concluded that healthy adults who sleep less than 5 hours during the weekends showed around 65% higher risk of premature death in comparison to those who sleep more than 7 hours per night during weekends.

According to Bustle: "The researchers divided the people into several groups: Short sleepers, who tended to sleep for fewer than five hours per night; medium sleepers, who slept around seven hours per night; and long sleepers, who slept for nine hours or more per night".

But it found that those who didn't get enough sleep during the week then managed to catch up with a longer snooze at weekends didn't have the same higher risk of mortality as those who consistently go without enough sleep. However, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

The magic number? Eight or more hours of sleep on weekends is what you'll need if you plan to catchup on those lost hours from averaging five hours or less during the week.

A growing body of research is highlighting the importance of getting a good night's sleep, with numerous studies showing that a chronic lack of shut-eye can increase your risk of death.

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Here's the deal: Researchers looked at data from more than 30,000 people over a period of 13 years. "This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend, and that this has implications for mortality".

Many people complain they do not get enough sleep, and it seems they are right to be concerned.

Sleeping in on weekends to catch up on missed sleep over a long and tiring work week does not only feel unbelievable, but it also may help you live longer.

It suggests over 65s need seven to eight hours sleep a day, while 18 - 65 year olds need seven to nine hours a day. But channeling your inner cat and sleeping too much can be just as bad for your health, studies have found.

The study has its limitations, as participants were asked to recall their sleep patterns rather than being observed sleeping, but Åkerstedt has an idea about what might be driving this difference in mortality.

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