Good news for people who like to sleep in on the weekends

Frederick Owens
May 29, 2018

If you are having trouble sleeping, then this other study suggests that you go camping for a weekend in order to reset your body's natural sleep cycle; or you can simply put on Baa Baa Land, the "world's most boring film".

The study found that people who sleep five hours or less per night including the weekends had higher mortality rates. 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.

Sleeping in on weekends might make up for the negative health effects of not getting enough rest during the week, according to study results published this week in the Journal of Sleep Research.

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"The assumption in this is that weekend sleep is a catch-up sleep", said Dr Akerstedt, though he noted the study did not prove that to be the case. A cohort of 43,880 subjects was followed for 13 years through record‐linkages.

But before you hit the sack to celebrate, the study also found there can be too much of a good thing. Short sleepers slept for less than five hours per night.

This new study is actually fairly revolutionary when it comes to sleep sciences. "Sleeping less than seven hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes", the academy wrote in a consensus statement. People in their late teens and 20s slept on average for seven hours a night during the week but 8.5 hours on days off. Will the findings of this study motivate you to change your sleep habits. In the same age group, short sleep (or long sleep) on both weekdays and weekend showed increased mortality. Torbjörn said it's probably because older people "get the sleep they need".

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