health

Sleep in this weekend. You might live longer

By Jen Christensen

Published June 8, 2018

Imagine this:

  • Your pets are pestering you to get up and your spouse wants you to get started on that honey-do list.

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Tell them you're sleeping in this weekend.

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Science says sleeping in may help you live longer. Especially if you don't get enough rest during the week.

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Lack of sleep can give you heart problems or hurt your waistline and leave you anxious and depressed. However, research has often overlooked what happens on your days off.

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A study looked at 43,880 people in Sweden, asking them about their sleep habits and following up 13 years later.

Here are the findings:

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People who regularly slept about five hours or less a night, including on weekends, saw a higher mortality rate -- the likelihood of death during the study period -- compared with those who regularly got seven hours.

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People who slept too much, regularly conking out for eight hours or longer a night, also had a worse mortality rate.

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  • But when the short sleepers slept in on the weekends, their mortality rate did not differ from that of the consistent seven-hour-a-night sleepers.

  • *That was true only for those under 65; the mortality difference disappeared for people who were older.

Sleep is something you need to replenish.

If you are well-rested, your fatigue is low in the morning and builds over the day. At night, you go to bed to relieve your tiredness. If you don't get enough sleep, you wake up with that tiredness and a higher need for sleep.

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It's like with your diet. 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

Michael Grandner, sleep expert