January 21, 2019

Sleeping in on weekends could save your life

29 May 2018, 06:15 | Rodolfo Wallace



Looking at data from 44,000 people in Sweden, they found that people who slept for five or fewer hours per day experienced higher rates of morality than those who slept for six or seven hours per day.

If you love sleeping in on the weekends, you're not alone.

Differences between weekend and weekday sleep were most pronounced at a young age.

Additionally, the sleep deprivation did not affect subjects who were over 65 years old - which means that thousands of middle-aged adults are being negatively affected by lack of sleep. For the sleep-deprived, sleeping in on a weekend is like eating a salad after a series of hamburger dinners - healthier, sure, but from "one perspective the damage is done".

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Researchers took various factors into account, such as gender, education, body mass index, severe disease, use of hypnotics (like sleeping pills, ) as well as things like smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, coffee intake and employment status. They might sleep six hours or slightly less. Long sleepers, per the new study, snoozed for nine or more hours.

The lead study author was keen to explain that getting seven hours a night is not a hard and fast rule; some people might need more and others less.

Interestingly, people who slept too much, regularly hitting the hay for eight hours or longer a night, also had a worse mortality rate. Monday was found to be the day of the week when people feel the least energetic. In the same age group, short sleep (or long sleep) on both weekdays and weekend showed increased mortality. Will the findings of this study motivate you to change your sleep habits. The performance of sleep-deprived individuals was no different among those who reported feeling alert and those who said they felt exhausted.

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