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

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

In conclusion, short, but not long, weekend sleep was associated with an increased mortality in subjects 65 years.

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.

Curiously, after the age of 65, there is no relationship between sleep duration and mortality. "I suspected there might be some modification if you included also weekend sleep, or day-off sleep". That was compared to those who slept seven hours a night. However, people who slept for less than 5 hours a night during the week could eliminate that increased risk by sleeping for more than 8 hours a night over the weekend. Short sleepers slept for less than five hours per night, medium sleepers about seven hours and long sleepers for nine or more hours per night. That, Dr Akerstedt said, was perhaps because older individuals got the sleep they needed.

Sleeping in saves lives

Sleeping in on a day off feels marvelous, especially for those of us who don't get almost enough rest during the work week.

"If somebody is routinely awake for more than 18 hours daily, then they are also routinely sleeping for less than six hours daily", explained Dr. Klerman. But channeling your inner cat and sleeping too much can be just as bad for your health, studies have found.

When, instead, different combinations of weekday and weekend sleep durations were analysed, we observed a detrimental association with consistently sleeping ≤5 hr (hazard ratios 1.65; 95% confidence intervals 1.22-2.23) or ≥8 hr (hazard ratios 1.25; 95% confidence intervals 1.05-1.50), compared with consistently sleeping 6-7 hr per day (reference). "If you eat OK during the week and you splurge a little on the weekend, you probably aren't hurting your health, but if you eat crap all week, no amount of Brussels sprouts or kale that you eat on the weekends can make up for that", he said. "Well, you can, but you won't live as long".

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