Is it healthy to sleep in on the weekend?

Is it healthy to sleep in on the weekend?

Sleep deprivation has become an epidemic. The National Health Interview Survey shows that: “Nearly 30% of adults reported an average of ≤6 hours of sleep per day in 2005-2007. In 2009, only 31% of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep on an average school night.”

Sleep is very important because it helps our body remove cellular wastes and toxins, and gives us energy for the day ahead. Lack of sleep has been known to cause weight gain and may even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

It has been a widely believed notion that it is not possible to catch up on sleep, and that getting extra sleep on the weekends to make up for sleep lost does not provide benefits. So what is the truth? Is it healthy to sleep in on the weekend?

New research from the University of Colorado shows that it may indeed be healthy to sleep in on the weekend.

You are going to improve your insulin sensitivity and giving yourself permission to sleep in … prevents your future diabetes risk,” said Josiane Broussard, assistant research professor at the University of Colorado.

The research team conducted the study with 19 healthy men and found that four nights of sleep deprivation already caused negative changes in the blood. However, when they let the participants get extra sleep for just two nights, their blood returned to normal, suggesting that the effects of sleep deprivation can be overcome.

It gives us some hope that if there is no way to extend sleep during the week, people should try very hard to protect their sleep when they do get an opportunity to sleep in and sleep as much as possible to pay back the sleep debt,” Broussard said.

Broussard warns that sleeping late every weekend may not fully counter the health effects of sleep deprivation. She also notes that the study does not fully prove that catching up on sleep prevents diabetes.

However, James Gangwisch, a researcher at Columbia University believes that the results are promising. “By catching up on sleep on the weekends, people are reducing average extent and severity of the effects of sleep deprivation,” Gangwisch wrote in an email. “Ideally, we would all get sufficient sleep on a nightly basis.”

The study showing that it may be healthy to sleep in on the weekend was published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Losing 30 Minutes of Sleep Per Day May Promote Weight Gain and Adversely Affect Blood Sugar Control.” Newswise. Endocrine Society, 5 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
2. “Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain.” American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science, 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
3. “Catching up on Lost Sleep Really May Reverse a Few Restless Nights.”, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
4. “Never Feel Bad About Sleeping In On The Weekend Ever Again.” Reuters, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
5. “Two Nights of Recovery Sleep Reverses the Effects of Short-term Sleep Restriction on Diabetes Risk.” Diabetes Care. Diabetes Care, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
6. “Health Behaviors of Adults: United States, 2005–2007.” CDC. CDC, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

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