How a weekend sleep-in could help you avoid an early death

How a weekend sleep-in could help you avoid an early death

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

"This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend and that this has implications for mortality", the authors concluded. The researchers also came to the surprising conclusion that regularly having more than eight hours a sleep a night could also be connected with a higher mortality rate.

Raise your hand if you try to "catch up" on sleep on the weekends?

Fortunately, they found that if you're one of those people who struggles to get a full night's sleep, the damage can be reversed.

Sleep experts have long preached the importance of a sleep routine.

Researchers examined data from almost 44,000 people who took part in a 1997 Swedish medical survey - and then tracked how many died within the next 13 years. However, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

The study, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, found that short, but not long, weekend sleep was associated with an increased risk of early death in individuals under 65 years of age.

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Another part of the new paper deserves attention, says Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the University of California Los Angeles Center for Sleep Research (who was not involved with the study).

Hopefully, additional research will find further evidence to support the ethos of work hard, sleep hard.

The new study focused only on the link between sleep duration and longevity, yet sleep loss can also have negative effects on cognitive, behavioral and metabolic health. He thinks a lot of people may relate to sleeping less during the week and, at the very least, may want to have an excuse for sleeping in on our days off.

"We also note that the the older participants are "well rested" when they wake up, whereas the younger are definitely not 'well rested.' Our interpretation is that sleep need is reduced with increasing age". But channeling your inner cat and sleeping too much can be just as bad for your health, studies have found.

It's not so much about being able to store up sleep, but he thinks short sleepers who are changing their habits on the weekends are making up for some of what they lost during the week.

"Being an inactive "couch potato" is not good for you", Siegel said in an email to TIME.

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