Love sleeping in on weekends? Rejoice, as it might be the key to living a longer life.
We have read chilling articles about how a lack of sleep shortens lifespan and accelerates the rate at which skin ages. On the flip side, research also shows how too much sleep can be bad for you. In Singapore, we love our late weekend brunch dates, tempting us to steal a few extra hours of sleep on weekends. So how bad, or rather, good, is that for our mortality?
In this study from the Journal of Sleep Research, researchers compared both weekend and weekday sleep duration with mortality. If you’ve had a long work week with minimal sleep, get a few extra hours of sleep this weekend, as results reveal that sleeping in on weekends possibly reverses the ill effects of short sleep duration on weekdays.
The sleep habits of 43,880 subjects were followed for 13 years. The investigation revealed that no association with mortality was observed for individuals who slept in on weekends (about nine hours). However, individuals who got short sleep (less than five hours) during weekends had a 53 per cent higher risk of mortality. As expected, short sleep duration on both weekdays and weekends is linked to an even higher risk of mortality.
Plus, when short weekday sleepers sleep in on the weekend, their mortality rate does not differ from people who get regular sleep (seven hours) throughout the week. This study shows that you can negate the ill effects of sleep deprivation, by giving your body its well-deserved rest on weekends.
Sleep is crucial, as during our state of slumber, our body carries out its natural repair and regrowth cycle. As a rule of thumb, ensure that you are not getting less than five hours of sleep throughout the week. Too much of a good thing is equally bad, so don’t snooze endlessly – more than nine hours at a stretch – either. Seven hours of daily sleep is a good number to stick to for a healthy mind and body.