Sleeping In On Weekends Might Prevent Early Death

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Researchers surveyed around 44,000 people in Sweden about their sleep habits, and followed up after 13 years to see who was still alive.

However, people who slept for short amounts of time during the week, but compensated for it by sleeping in on the weekends, displayed normal rates of mortality. In the same age group, short sleep (or long sleep) on both weekdays and weekend showed increased mortality.

"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.

The study revealed that participants who were suffering from a lack of sleep had five times more attention lapses and their reaction time was doubled during tests.

But channeling your inner cat and sleeping too much can be just as bad for your health, studies have found.

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People who get too little sleep are at a significantly greater risk of dying early compared to those who are well-rested. This peek at weekend slumber fills in an "overlooked" gap in sleep science, Akerstedt said.

Epidemiologist and cardiovascular doctor Franco Cappuccio at the University of Warwick in England, also not a member of the research team, said that the study "looks good" but that the authors missed a trick: "a full explanation of the possibility of daytime napping".

Not in the new study. Probably. But do I feel somewhat like human being again after two days of sleeping late?

Self-reporting may be considered a limitation of the study, but researchers note it's a practical way to accumulate large-scale data. The performance of sleep-deprived individuals was no different among those who reported feeling alert and those who said they felt exhausted.

A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.

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