Scientists Tell Us We Must Sleep In On Weekends to Live Longer

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Great news for everyone who wants to snooze one more hour in the morning!

Scientists at the Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet have just published their study which shows that the mortality rate decreases when a person sleeps over 6-7 hours per day. The paper can be found in the Journal of Sleep Research.

Short Sleeper or Long Sleeper – Still More Likely to Die Earlier

Results of the study show that adults of 65 years old and under that age that slept 5 hours a night or less in the week had a 65% increased risk of early death than those that added 2-3 more hours of sleep per night.

However, researchers also found that the risk of mortality remained low in those who didn’t sleep enough during the weekdays but slept in on weekends.

Torbjörn Åkerstedt (Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet) is the co-author of the study. He says that the research will surely encourage people to get more sleep during the week:

“Short sleepers during both weekdays and weekends have an increased mortality. Same with consistent long sleepers. However, weekday short sleepers seem to be able to compensate during the weekend by sleeping more.”

Watch out, because sleeping over 8 hours a day also raises the mortality rate by 25% compared to those that regularly sleep for 6-7 hours.

The Study Looked At Data Starting With the Year 1997

Researchers looked at the data of over 43,000 adults in Sweden, starting with 1997 and following the subjects for 13 years.

Other studies have looked at how adults sleep during the week, dismissing the weekends, says Åkerstedt:

“I suspected there might be some modification if you included also weekend sleep, or day-off sleep.”

The researchers also took into consideration other factors: BMI, smoking, shift work, and the active lifestyle of the subjects.

He concludes it’s best if we had a sleeping routine:

“Try to sleep for seven hours regardless of day of the week, but older individuals need less, and younger need more sleep. But as long as daytime functioning is OK, you probably get enough sleep. Don’t emphasis formal sleep duration too much.”

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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