A Weekend Lie-In Might Not Be Good For You After All
Ah, Saturday morning. Sure, you've got a sore head and are a little bit anxious about whatever went on last night, but the bed is warm, the duvet is cosy, and you ain't got shit to do today.
Weekend lie-ins are the dream. In fact, they are probably the best part of the week. Unfortunately, it turns out that they might not actually be doing you any good.
A study suggests that weekend lie-ins aren't enough to offset the sleep deprivation that we experience during the working week.
To conduct this vital research, a team took three groups of people and limited them to no more than five hours of sleep each night. The difference between two of the groups was that one group was allowed to try to catch up on their sleep on the weekends to see if it helped them out at all.
One group - a control group - was allowed to get a proper amount of sleep, up to nine hours if they wanted.
In the end, it doesn't look like it did much good to those allowed to catch up at the weekends. The scientists discovered that both groups on limited sleep gained weight, both deteriorated in metabolic health (whatever that is, exactly) and snacked more at night - there's the weight gain for you, then.
The study was performed at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The lead author of the paper, Chris Depner, is an assistant research professor at the aforementioned university. He told the BBC: "In the end, we didn't see any benefit in any metabolic outcome in the people who got to sleep in on the weekend."
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Basically, getting enough sleep is really important and good for you. If you don't, you open yourself up to the possibility of all sorts of problems like type 2 diabetes, obesity, you get the drill.
In short, catching up on sleep at the weekend doesn't help you out as much as you'd think it does.
Don't worry, though. It's not all bad news.
It does help you a bit at the time. The group allowed to lie in showed some signs of improvement at the weekends, but then once the regular week set in once more, those benefits disappeared as suddenly as they'd arrived.
In total, the recovery group saw just over an hour more sleep at the weekends. Barely worth it, right?
So, whilst the sample size was only small - just nine nights - the effects of a life of this could be significantly larger.
That being said, you should still try to recover a bit at the weekend if you can. This info comes from a professor at the University of Surrey, Malcolm von Schantz, who added: "Whilst I think we should urge everybody to work towards a regular schedule if they can, I don't think we should tell people who don't have that luxury that they mustn't sleep in during the weekend."
See, you don't need to get up just yet after all.