Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

Sleeping in on weekends may extend your life, new study finds

Sleeping in on weekends may extend your life, new study finds

Sleeping in on a day off feels marvelous, especially for those of us who don't get almost enough rest during the workweek. Researchers say getting more zzzzz's on Saturday and Sunday morning may extend your life.

Torbjörn Åkerstedt, professor at the, led the study, in which his team assessed data gathered from a cohort of 43,880 participants over the course of 13 years. Now, a new study suggests a solution: You can actually "catch up" on the health benefits of sleep you missed during the week over the weekend.

"Short sleep (or long sleep) on both weekdays and weekend showed increased mortality".

However, the effect of short sleeps over a few days may be countered by a later lie-in. That was true only for those under 65; the mortality difference disappeared for people who were older.

Those aged 65 or under who slept five hours or less each day were around 25 % more likely to die than those who snoozed through six to seven hours.

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Interestingly, people who slept too much, regularly hitting the hay for eight hours or longer a night, also had a worse mortality rate.

Individuals in the study who slept for fewer than 5 hours per night during the week faced a 52% higher mortality rate; however, those who could get an extra two hours of sleep on the weekends lived just as long as those who consistently slept 7 hours a night during the week.

"I think people like the idea that you can compensate for lost sleep", Åkerstedt said. This peek at weekend slumber fills in an "overlooked" gap in sleep science, Akerstedt said.

Dr Peirson, based at the University of Oxford, noted that sleep requirements varied from person to person according to genetics, but he added that "sleep debt" needed to be "paid off".

And could even help you live longer.

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