Could that weekend lie in help you live longer?

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It has previously been shown that ‘binge sleeping’ or sleeping in on the weekends cannot erase a sleep debt that you acquired through the work week. Fast forward to 2018 and a massive sleep science debate is raging as new research has shown conflicting results.

Researchers studied 43 000 participants and found that:

  1. getting more sleep, if you need it, is a good thing, even if it can only happen on the weekends
  2. those who slept for 5 hours sleep or less died at an earlier age compared to those who slept 6 hours or more.
  3. There were more negative health consequences for those who were 65 years or younger.

Torbjörn Åkerstedt, lead researcher, said: "It seems like you actually can compensate by catching up on sleep during weekends. This is in effect an argument for lazing around all weekend… There probably is an upper limit, but it's anyway better to increase [sleep hours] on the weekend rather than not doing it at all."

Getting 7-9 hours sleep every night remains the gold standard, but if life happens and you get less sleep than this, you can use power naps and weekend lie ins to clock more sleep hours for that week.

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