ibusinesslines.com October 18, 2018

Having a weekend lie-in could help you avoid an early death

25 May 2018, 09:01 | Melissa Porter

Maisy Byrne 10 from Liverpool sleeps in her bed

Maisy Byrne 10 from Liverpool sleeps in her bed

Researchers from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute-Sweden's foremost medical university-examined medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.

The scientists discovered that people who slept five hours or fewer during the week, but got over eight hours of rest on the weekends, did not have any increase in their mortality rate.

"They found that "once factors such as gender, body mass index, smoking, physical activity and shift work, were taken into account" those who slept less than five hours per night had a 65% higher mortality rate than those getting six or seven hours' sleep", says The Guardian. Like people who slept less than 5 hours a night, people who consistently slept 8 or more hours fared worse than those who slept 6 or 7 hours a night. But what if you're burning the candles at both ends of the week and sleeping less than five hours on the weekend?

Torbjörn Åkerstedt, an author of the study, said that his study doesn't contradict the growing body of scientific evidence that lack of sleep can lead to a person's early demise, according to Mashable.

Not getting enough sleep can increase the risk of developing risky conditions like dementia, and could even lead to an early grave.

However, these previous studies focused on weekday sleep, and Åkerstedt said the team "suspected that may not be enough".

For people over the age of 65, no link between sleep duration and a heightened risk of death was established. Previous studies looking at sleep deprivation and mortality risk often asked participants about their "usual" sleep duration, which is often interpreted as one's weekday sleep schedule.

"They sleep as much during weekdays as during weekends whereas the difference is huge in lower age groups", he explained.

"Try to sleep for seven hours regardless of day of the week, but older individuals need less, and younger need more sleep".

Can you really "catch up" on your sleep by staying in bed on the weekends?

Sleep expert Michael Grandner explains it this way: Most people who are considered "short sleepers" are probably just shy of getting seven hours.

So forget "sleep when you're dead" - it might be more like "don't sleep, and you will be dead".

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

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