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Why Sleeping In On The Weekend Could Be Bad For You

Update Date: Mar 29, 2019 09:03 PM EDT
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Most people love to get some extra shut-eye when the weekend rolls around, but new research indicates that sleeping in on the weekends could actually be bad for you. Despite the allure of lazing around with your pillows and blankets for a few extra hours, there are causes for concern when it comes to sleeping in that are leading some scientists to warn against the beloved habit.

Here's why sleeping in on the weekend could actually be bad for your physical and mental health, and what you need to be doing to ensure you're getting the appropriate amount of sleeping in your everyday life.

Can you "catch up" on sleep?

Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, were fed up with not having an answer to the age of question of whether humans can "catch up" on their sleep over the weekends. Being pressed to work long hours and maintain harsh social commitments during the weekdays, the logic goes, humans can catch up on their z's by sleeping in over the weekend to replenish their bodies and minds. What the researchers discovered quickly dispelled the age-old wisdom; there are medical reasons to believe that "catching up on your sleep" is more of a hoax than a reality.

Publishing their work in the journal Current Biology, the researchers claimed that sleep loss leads to a number of negative health effects, such as increasing the risk of having a motorcycle accident,  and isn't something that can be easily remedied by sleeping in longer. So-called weekend recovery sleep, wherein we snooze for a lot longer than usual in hopes of recharging our exhausted batteries, is reportedly "not an effective strategy to prevent metabolic dysregulation associated with recurrent insufficient sleep."

This is hard news to stomach, especially since laying in for a couple of hours more than usual is a beloved pastime enjoyed by just about everyone. It's nonetheless important news to consider, as not getting enough sleep is one of the chief causes of stress and health complications in life. This is especially true if it is prolonged and sudden. There are also good reasons to believe that a large number of people aren't getting the number of hours of sleep they need each night, which means we should be paying heed to this sort of research.

The CDC claims that 1 in every 3 Americans aren't getting enough sleep, for instance, and the well-researched health complications that arise from a lack of sleep are sinister to consider. Children in particular stand to suffer if they don't get enough sleep, so rousing your child and forcing them to get up, even on a Saturday, maybe the advisable course of action regardless of how tough their week was.

Getting enough sleep is imperative

For those who are struggling to get enough sleep, it should be clear by now that dozing overtime during the weekend isn't a surefire way to recharge your batteries. As unpleasant as it is to confront, you need to realize that a drastic change to your schedule is likely needed if you're getting insufficient sleep. Playing video games into the wee small hours of the morning, staying up late to read a book or stare at a screen, and having an unbalanced diet can all contribute to lackluster sleep cycles that keep you dragging your feet during daylight hours.

Are you getting enough sleep? The CDC has some helpful guidelines for good sleep that everyone should pour over, especially if you're a weekend warrior who's traditionally relied upon Sunday downtime to get some shuteye in. As the study by a researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, demonstrated, groups who had their sleep restricted typically snack more, gaining weight and seeing a decline in their insulin sensitivity. The clear-costs of not getting enough sleep should help motivate you to cut your day off a little earlier than you're used to.

Having a 9-to-5-job isn't always conducive to getting enough sleep, however, and many parents of young children can only dream about getting in enough sleep while also seeing to the needs of their little ones. Other studies have consistently demonstrated that people who are regularly sleep deprived have substantially higher mortality rates than those getting enough shuteye, however, so consider the long-term necessity of staying healthy when it comes to heading to bed early.

Those who are struggling to get enough sleep are advised to cut sugar and caffeine from their diet, while simultaneously increasing the amount of water they drink and refraining from eating right before bed. Quiet, peaceful sleeping areas can help you get the rest you deserve, and regular washing of your bed sheets and linens is the only surefire way to guarantee your hygiene. Sleeping in on the weekends could be bad for you, but this bad news just means you need to dedicate more time to getting the sleep you deserve in your everyday life.

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