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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

How Sleeping in on Weekends Could Surprisingly Benefit Your Health

{Image Credit: Paramount Pictures}

Living in an age of immediacy and promptness can often leave so many of us feeling pretty tired by the time Friday rolls in. But new research suggests catching up on lost sleep over the weekend benefits your health greatly.

While a University of Arizona study released this month suggests sleeping in on those coveted weekends can actually be bad for your health and raise the risk of heart disease, emerging studies from South Korea published in the journal, Sleep, suggests sleeping in on weekends may aid in keeping weight under control.

In the study, researchers compared the sleep habits of more than 2,100 adults to their body mass indexes (BMI) — the tool doctors use to assess a person’s relative weight to height that helps identity potential health risks, like, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Researchers discovered on average that those who slept too little throughout the week and caught up on weekends had slightly lower BMIs than those who slept too little and didn’t compensate for lost sleep on Saturday and Sunday.

In an email to Reuters, lead author Dr. Chang-Ho Yun of Seoul National University Budang Hospital said not getting enough sleep not only disrupts hormones and metabolism, but also increases the risk of obesity.

“Short sleep, usually causing sleep debt, is common and inevitable in many cases, and is a risk factor for obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease, as well as mortality,” Yun said.

The study further shows that the more catch up sleep a person gets, the lower their BMI tends to be, with each additional hour linked to 0.12 decrease in BMI.

The National Sleep Foundation states that short sleepers not only increase calorie consumption by eating more meals per day and snacking, but they engage in more screen time and may be less likely to move due to increased sensation of fatigue when not receiving adequate rest.

Yun adds that “sleeping in may be better than napping,” as the sleep is deeper and follows the body’s sleep-wake rhythms more closely for you to make more smart choices thanks to a well-rested mind.

Since adjusting our sleep schedules to accommodate our work, social life and binge-watching habits can throw off our body’s natural circadian rhythm to increase unhealthy habits of moodiness and fatigue, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends getting at least seven consistent hours of sleep a night.

And if you can’t get sufficient sleep on weeknights, catch up on the weekends — it’s a sufficient way to recharge your body and mind, and keep your BMI in check.

“Weekend sleep extension may have biological protective effects in preventing sleep-restriction induced or related obesity,” the study concludes.

But while their research proves correlation and not cause, more research is necessary.

“Weekend sleep extension could be a quick fix to compensate sleep loss over the week but is not an ultimate solution for chronic sleep loss,” Yun cautioned. “If average sleep duration over the week is far below the optimal amount even with weekend sleep extension, the benefits would likely dissipate.”

In the meantime, you do you, and make sure you don’t worry too much about hitting the snooze button on a weekend morning. Those errands can wait!

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Do you sleep in on weekends? What benefits do you reap from sleeping in? Share with us your experiences in the comments below.

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One Comment on “How Sleeping in on Weekends Could Surprisingly Benefit Your Health”

  1. The Gentleman June 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    Interesting. I always thought you should maintain the same amount of sleep on weekends as well.
    Going to have to give this one a try.

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