Sleeping In On The Weekends Can Help You Live Longer, Study Finds

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But as long as daytime functioning is OK, you probably get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can have dire consequences for your health.

"It fits with what we do know about sleep - that sleep is regulated by the body clock but also regulated by what is called a homeostatic process, which means the longer you are awake the more you need to sleep".

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Torbjorn Akerstedt who led the study, said there was no single factor causing death early.

Hopefully, additional research will find further evidence to support the ethos of work hard, sleep hard.

The study covered 38,000 adults with data collection starting in 1997 and participants in the study were followed up for about 13 years, using the country's death register.

There is a higher mortality risk if a person is consistently getting short (less than five hours) or long (more than nine hours) sleep, compared to people who are consistently sleeping around six to seven hours sleep throughout the week.

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For those over 65, the researchers found no association between sleep durations and mortality risk.

Average sleep duration at weekends and the percentage of those saying they did not feel rested at waking, did fall with age.

However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays. The findings suggest, in other words, that you may be able to make up for the damaging effects of lost sleep.

However, people who slept for eight or more hours, seven days a week, were found to have a 25% higher mortality rate compared with those who kept to six or seven hours a day. They might sleep six hours or slightly less.

So forget "sleep when you're dead" - it might be more like "don't sleep, and you will be dead". "It's a fundamental part of our biology, like breathing. It's a requirement", said Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson. He was not involved in the new study. If you don't get enough sleep, you wake up with that sleep pressure and start the day with a higher need for it. He thinks a lot of people may relate to sleeping less during the week and, at the very least, may want to have an excuse for sleeping in on our days off.

"People change their sleep duration over time". "Perhaps it's giving them hope that this habit is in some way good for them".

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