Sleeping over the weekend is bad for you, says study at the University of Colorado in Boulder


Having a break at the weekend will not make up for lost sleep during the week, experts warned.

The extra hours kip does not help recharge your health after a week of burning the candle at both ends.

Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your health.

The gold standard when it comes to closing the eyes is eight hours a night, according to the NHS.

But less than that and you run the risk of getting sick with flu and colds, increasing your chances of obesity and type 2 diabetes and risking your mental well-being.

Sleeping yo-yo is bad for health

So it may be tempting to set the alarm a little later, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, hoping to make up for lost time.

But new findings from the University of Colorado at Boulder show that this may not work.

Kenneth Wright, director of his sleep lab, warned: "Our findings suggest that the common behavior of burning the candle during the week and trying to compensate it over the weekend is not an effective health strategy.

"It may be that the young people from one place to another – by changing the time we eat, by changing our circadian clock and then returning to insufficient sleep – is exclusively disturbing."

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Short-term correction disappears quickly

His team studied a group of adults over a two-week period.

The scientists found that those who did not sleep more than five hours for five days, before two days of sleep for the time they liked, earned almost nothing compared to those who followed a more structured and longer sleep pattern.

The results, published in Current Biology, indicate that people who sleep over the weekend may benefit from a mild recovery, but the effects disappear once they return to normal sleep deprivation patterns during the work week.

The sleepers were tested against a second instructed group to sleep nine hours every night for nine days, and a third group said to sleep for only five hours a night with continually monitored food intake and exposure to light.

The outcomes showed that those in sleep-restricted groups tended to snack more late at night, gaining weight and experiencing a drop in insulin sensitivity – the weekend sleep-in group reduced their snacks over the two days.

"In the end, we did not see any benefit in any metabolic outcome in people who were able to sleep over the weekend," said Chris Depner, lead author.

In total, the weekend recovery group only managed, on average, 66 minutes of extra sleep, while men recovered more lost than women.

The article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.


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