Sleep expert: Weekend sleep-in's good but not a total fix

Sleep expert: Weekend sleep-in's good but not a total fix

It found that people who regularly slept about five hours or less a night, including on weekends, saw a higher mortality rate - the likelihood of death during the study period - compared with those who regularly got seven hours. People who slept too much, regularly conking out for eight hours or longer a night, also had a worse mortality rate.

A study of almost 40,000 people by Sweden's Karolinska Institute found that adults under the age of 65 who slept fewer than five hours per night on average were significantly less healthy than those who got between five and eight hours.

Do you sleep in on the weekends like your life depends on it?

Torbjörn Åkerstedt, an author of the study, said that his study doesn't contradict the growing body of scientific evidence that lack of sleep can lead to a person's early demise, according to Mashable.

While the study didn't investigate the direct link between sleep patterns and mortality rates, getting little sleep was suggested to have an overall negative effect on the body.

For those over 65, the researchers found no association between sleep durations and mortality risk.

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Although busy bees will be pleased to hear their hectic lifestyles won't negatively impact their longevity (at least where zzz's are concerned), you should know that the study is limited: Participants were only asked about their sleep habits once in 1997, and they self-reported them, which sacrifices accuracy. "If you can function on what you get, you are likely getting the right amount of sleep".

WGN Morning News weatherman Paul Komrad observed one problem parents may have trying to catch up with sleep on the weekends when he tweeted, "Someone please share this post with my children".

"The assumption in this is that weekend sleep is a catch-up sleep", said Åkerstedt, though he noted the study did not prove that to be the case.

Sleep expert Michael Grandner explains it this way: Most people who are considered "short sleepers" are probably just shy of getting seven hours.

Sleep is something you need to replenish regularly if you don't want to hurt your health.

The Sleep Council, an organisation promoting healthier sleep, says shut-eye is essential to "replenish energy stores" and "make repairs, while our minds organise and store the memories of the day before", on its website.

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