This Weekend Take a Break and Sleep In
If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’re the sort of person who takes control of their life. You work hard, you play hard, and (hopefully) you sleep hard. While it might not be realistic to think that you can cut your workday short to get some extra shut-eye during the week, there ’s always the weekend, right? That’s when we catch up on Z’s that we may be sorely lacking.
If you’re anything like us, sleeping in on the weekends has been a habit you’ve indulged since high school. Sure, it might make your mom upset, but there was just something amazing about catching up on sleep and waking up to dappled sunlight and, uh, cold pizza. It gave us life, even if society said it was a bad habit. Here’s the thing: it turns out that sleeping in on the weekends is a habit that just might save your life.
People Who Slept in On the Weekends Tend to Live Longer
A new study put out by the journal of sleep research refutes a popular notion with sleep scientists: namely that sleeping in on the weekend is good for you. While sleeping in was previously thought to do more harm than good (because it messes with your sleep schedule, and that it wasn’t possible to “catch up” on good sleep), this study actually found the opposite, that people who slept in on the weekends had a lower mortality rate than those who didn’t.
The study, which observed over 43,000 patients over the course of 13 years found that those who managed to get eight hours of sleep on the weekends, were less likely to suffer from disease and death than those who consistently got five hours — even if those people slept poorly during the work week.
It’s a surprising finding, and one that lead researcher and author of the study, Torbjörn Åkerstedt, said was found because he decided to look for it. Most sleep studies only looked at sleep during the work week, but Akerstedt said he thought these studies weren’t taking into account weekend sleep — a subject close to his heart.
“I suspected there might be some modification if you included also weekend sleep, or day-off sleep,” said Akerstedt in a recent interview.
It Doesn’t Always Matter When You Get Sleep, But You Need it — Especially if You’re Up Late
This news comes with some caveats: if you’re working a ton and staying up late during the week, you’re going to need even more sleep on the weekend than someone who is keeping a consistent sleep schedule. Basically, the more you’re awake, the more sleep you’ll need, which is where that catch-up sleep on the weekend comes in. It’s something that Stewart Peirson, who specializes in the human diurnal body clock, says is a crucial component of our overall health.
“It fits with what we do know about sleep – that sleep is regulated by the body clock but also regulated by what is called a homeostatic process,” said Peirson. “[This] means the longer you are awake the more you need to sleep.”
While this might sound like good news, it does mean that you’re going to have to get that sleep at some point, or you run the risk of being in sleep debt. That’s a problem that can stick with you, this same study showed that people who averaged five hours or less sleep a night had a 65% higher mortality rate than those who got more. If you’re really stretching yourself thin, even sleeping in on the weekends might not be enough — which is why it’s always important to try and stick to a sleep schedule. Peirson says that it’s essential that this sleep debt is paid off any way we can, or we risk serious illness — or even death.
“You can’t keep burning the candle at both ends,” he said. “Well, you can, but you won’t live as long.”
So feel free to rest and relax on your spare Saturday and Sunday mornings. Try a DreamCloud Mattress risk free for 365 nights and save $200 off instantly.