The findings are based on almost 44,000 people in Sweden over a 13-year period.
Swedish and U.S. researchers claim that sleeping in on weekends might not be such a bad thing, adding a couple of could of years to our lifespans especially if you don't get enough rest during the other days of the week.
The mortality rate among participants with short sleep during weekdays, but long sleep during weekends, did not differ from the rate of the reference group.
"Apparently, sleeping in in on the weekends can be a real help", said Åkerstedt, a professor and director of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University. Weekend snoozers, the data showed, live just as long as those who slept enough during the week.
Previous studies have found a U?shaped relationship between mortality and (weekday) sleep duration.
Epidemiologist and cardiovascular doctor Franco Cappuccio at the University of Warwick in England, also not a member of the research team, said that the study "looks good" but that the authors missed a trick: "a full explanation of the possibility of daytime napping".
It's not so much about being able to store up sleep, but he thinks short sleepers who are changing their habits on the weekends are making up for some of what they lost during the week. Among individuals ≥65 years old, no association between weekend sleep or weekday/weekend sleep durations and mortality was observed. Possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep. "It's a fundamental part of our biology, like breathing".
There are few things in life more satisfying than crawling into bed on Friday night knowing you'll get a well-deserved lie-on in the morning. People in their late teens and 20s slept on average for seven hours a night during the week but 8.5 hours on days off. The performance of sleep-deprived individuals was no different among those who reported feeling alert and those who said they felt exhausted.
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