A weekend lie-in is a life-save


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. Among individuals 65 years old, short sleep (≤5 hr) during weekends at baseline was associated with a 52% higher mortality rate (hazard ratios 1.52; 95% confidence intervals 1.15-2.02) compared with the reference group (7 hr), while no association was observed for long (≥9 hr) weekend sleep.

The researchers also came to the surprising conclusion that regularly having more than eight hours a sleep a night could also be connected with a higher mortality rate.

Previous studies have found a U?shaped relationship between mortality and (weekday) sleep duration.

"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. To the authors' credit, he said, they were aware they did not have a fine brush, and accordingly painted a broad outline of sleep habits. Past studies really only looked at sleep patterns during the week, and recommended that people change their sleeping habits gradually over time. But channeling your inner cat and sleeping too much can be just as bad for your health, studies have found. "This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend".

Dr Peirson, based at the University of Oxford, noted that sleep requirements varied from person to person according to genetics, but he added that "sleep debt" needed to be "paid off". Science says it may help you live longer, especially if you don't get enough rest during the week. "If you eat OK during the week and you splurge a little on the weekend, you probably aren't hurting your health, but if you eat crap all week, no amount of Brussels sprouts or kale that you eat on the weekends can make up for that", he said.

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