Sleeping in on weekends could extend your life

Ebony Scott
May 28, 2018

A recent study by Brigham and Women's Hospital has confirmed that sleep deprivation negatively impacts your work performance even when you do not feel exhausted.

There are few things in life more satisfying than crawling into bed on Friday night knowing you'll get a well-deserved lie-on in the morning.

The study followed the sleep habits of 43,880 subjects over the course of 13 years. The study also demonstrates that sleeping too much or too little heightens our risk of death; if people sleep less than 5 hours or if they sleep over 9 hours per night then they're at a higher risk of death than people who sleep between 6 to 7 hours per night.

However, the effect of not sleeping enough during the working days may be at least partially offset during the weekend.

Torbjörn Åkerstedt, a clinical neuroscience professor at Sweden's Karolinska Institute and one of the authors of the paper, said the findings are similar with previous research into sleep duration and the connection to mortality.

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But when the short sleepers slept in on the weekends, their mortality rate did not differ from that of the consistent seven-hour-a-night-ers. "If you can function on what you get, you are likely getting the right amount of sleep". That was true only for those under 65; the mortality difference disappeared for people who were older.

The study wasn't flawless and had limitations, including study subjects not being observed directly and self-reporting their sleep habits. They might sleep six hours or slightly less.

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

"It's like with your diet". "People can not learn to live on insufficient sleep and they may not be aware of their reduced cognitive abilities".

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