Don't feel so guilty next time you sleep in at the weekend - it could be prolonging your life.
Their findings stated that those under the age of 65 who had five hours sleep or less at the weekends had a 52 per cent higher mortality rate than those who had six or seven hours sleep.
This study relied on people to describe their own sleep habits, which can generate a "mish-mosh", in Lauderdale's view, of "accurate and less accurate information".
Can you really "catch up" on your sleep by staying in bed on the weekends?
Researchers took various factors into account which affect mortality, such as gender, education, body mass index, severe disease, use of hypnotics (like sleeping pills, ) plus things like smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, coffee intake and employment status. Researchers say those who slept in on weekend, but got less sleep during the week had the same mortality rate as those we get seven hours of sleep per night.
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.
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"This is in effect an argument for lazing around all weekend".
The team pointed out that they only assessed individuals aged 65 or under, not bearing the sleeping habits and mortality rates of those older in mind.
Previous sleep studies asked people to count their hours of sleep for an average night, without distinguishing between workdays and days off. Possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep.
Sleep is something you need to replenish regularly if you don't want to hurt your health. He was not involved in the new study.
"It's like with your diet".