Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Health Care | By Alice Shelton

You Will Live Longer If You Sleep More on Saturdays and Sundays

You Will Live Longer If You Sleep More on Saturdays and Sundays

Researchers set out to find out how lack of sleep during the week and weekend might impact on a person's mortality rate.

Of the subjects, it was found that people who slept for less than eight hours during the week and weekend had a higher mortality rate.

Good news if you were able to slip in some extra Zs this Memorial Day Weekend: A new, 13-year study of sleep habits finds that sleeping in on the weekend can add years to your life.

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"The mortality rate among participants with short sleep during weekdays, but long sleep during weekends, did not differ from the rate of the reference group", the study summary says. But a professor from the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University said perhaps short sleepers are catching up on some of the sleep they missed on the other days.

But there was no increased risk of death for those who slept five or fewer hours during the week but then managed eight or more hours' sleep on weekend days. The findings showed that people who slept for short amounts of time during the week and the weekend had a 52% increased rate of mortality. They are the ones who can compensate with longer rest on the weekends, because there is not as much of a deficit. Monday was found to be the day of the week when people feel the least energetic. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends adults ages 18 to 60 sleep about seven hours per night.

Self-reporting may be considered a limitation of the study, but researchers note it's a practical way to accumulate large-scale data. That, Dr Akerstedt said, was perhaps because older individuals got the sleep they needed. That's not a healthy approach - as our bodies are built to consume food and water, he pointed out, we are also built to sleep.

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