Science is basically telling you to lie-in this weekend

CHRISTINE OLSSON  TT

The study found that people who sleep five hours or less per night including the weekends had higher mortality rates.

The findings are based on almost 44,000 people in Sweden over a 13-year period.

Researchers have found that adults under the age of 65 who get five or fewer hours of sleep for seven days a week have a higher risk of death than those who consistently get six or seven hours of shut-eye.

"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", a section of the research read.

"The duration of sleep is important for longevity", said Thorbjorn Akersted of the Stress Research Institute in Sweden, quoted by The Guardian.

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But there was no increased risk of death for those who slept five or fewer hours during the week but then managed eight or more hours' sleep on weekend days. They might sleep six hours or slightly less. Weekend snoozers, the data showed, live just as long as those who slept enough during the week.

The scientific jury is still out on why too much sleep is associated with an uptick in mortality rates. Meaning sleeping in on weekends appears to restore your body. The take home point is that possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep. He was not involved in the new study. Monday was found to be the day of the week when people feel the least energetic. That was compared to those who slept seven hours a night. That, Dr Akerstedt said, was perhaps because older individuals got the sleep they needed.

Grandner urged the overworked and underslept not to view sleep as time lost.

A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.

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