We all know that sleep plays a big role in our lives – in fact, we spend about a third of our lives sleeping! And we also know from experience that getting the right amount of sleep can mean the difference between you having a great day or a bad one.
Yup, we’ve all felt it: the feeling of pulling an all-nighter that leaves us exhausted; or sleeping long into the afternoon past the recommended 7 to 8-hour time frame and waking up feeling groggy. Neither is ideal.
Many a university student has tried compensating for lack of sleep by offsetting it on less busy days, particularly weekends. And yes, this does seem like a good idea at first glance. However, is it really a good idea to sleep in on the weekends? Is it
A recent study from Stockholm University put this query to the test and gave some interesting results.
Based off of survey responses from a sample of more than 43,000 Swedish individuals over a 13-year period, the results showed that longer sleep on weekends may compensate for some sleep deficit you may have had during weekdays.
The researchers state in their study that “the results imply that short (weekday) sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep” indicating that it may be ok to sleep a little bit longer on the weekends after a tiring week without any long-term detrimental effects.
But don’t make this an excuse to mess up your body clock!
In the same study, the “results on sleep duration in terms of sufficient or insufficient recovery or compensatory sleep is speculative.” More research needs to be done to support these findings. Put this in comparison with many other studies that show that having a regular sleep schedule is much healthier than having an irregular sleep pattern.
Your body isn’t an energy bank and you can’t just “deposit” a large number of hours of sleep on one day and expect to stay awake and energised with minimal sleep every day after that. It’s still important to get a consistent amount of sleep each day throughout the week.
So, don’t mess with your circadian rhythm too much! Maybe you can sleep in on the weekends every now and then after a busy week, but remember, it’s always better for your body to get a healthy pattern of sleep that it can get used to.
Want to make your lie-ins more enjoyable? Check out the
Have a happy weekend!