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Sleeping In On Weekends May Help You Live Longer

Sleeping In On Weekends May Help You Live Longer

It found that people who regularly slept about five hours or less a night, including on weekends, saw a higher mortality rate - the likelihood of death during the study period - compared with those who regularly got seven hours. A survey of their sleep habits over that time found that people under 65 who slept less than five hours every night had a mortality rate 65 percent higher than people sleeping at least six hours a night. But individuals who balanced their short weekday sleep with longer weekend sleep did not appear to have any increased mortality risk.

Once factors such as gender, body mass index, smoking, physical activity and shift work, were taken into account, the results revealed that those under the age of 65 who got five hours of sleep or under that amount seven days a week had a 65% higher mortality rate than those getting six or seven hours' sleep every day.

"If you're sleep-deprived, it is probably better to try and fall asleep earlier than get up later", she said, adding: "Although our social commitments at the weekend tend to prevent us from doing this".

Torbjörn Åkerstedt, one of the authors of the study, said that previous studies had concentrated on average sleep during the working week.

For those over 65, the researchers found no association between sleep durations and mortality risk.

"The amount of sleep you need depends on your age, sex, health and other elements, and sleep cycles change as we grow older".

"Possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep", the study said, contradicting previous claims that you can't make up for nights of little or no sleep. "Yes, if you are extremely sleep-deprived during the week, then continuing that over the weekend isn't ideal, and maybe you should think about getting a few more hours".

And believe it or not, long sleep (sleeping more than eight hours) wasn't too healthy either.

"It fits with what we do know about sleep", he said.

"The assumption in this is that weekend sleep is a catch-up sleep", said Åkerstedt, though he noted the study did not prove that to be the case. Getting to bed to ensure eight hours of sleep is a daily battle, but it's nothing compared with getting up in the morning to make it to work on time.

Sleep is something you need to replenish regularly if you don't want to hurt your health.

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