It’s common knowledge that many Americans and people all around the world are sleep deprived. With living such fast-paced lives - trying to balance work, family, and a social life - good quality sleep is a luxury that many simply can’t afford. For this reason, most people take advantage of a relaxed schedule on the weekend. They curl up in bed, turn off the alarm clock and sleep later in hopes of catching up on lost sleep from the busy week prior. Current research, however, finds that this may not be the most health-conscious decision.
Recent Studies Suggest
A recent study that was published in the journal Current Biology found that an irregular sleep schedule can adversely affect a person’s health. The University of Colorado Boulder conducted the nine-night study and it controlled the sleep schedule of three groups of healthy, young adults. The first group could sleep nine hours each night while a second group was permitted to sleep five hours every night. The third group could sleep five hours for five nights and then two nights of unlimited sleep, followed by two nights of only five hours of sleep again. The study found that the third group with varying sleep schedules gained more weight, and their insulin sensitivity was more decreased.
These findings lead the researches to conclude that sleeping in later during the weekends leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. An earlier study that was conducted in 2017 by the American Heart Association also found similar findings in that sleeping in on the weekends leads to cardiovascular health concerns for women.
Therefore, while it may feel nice to pull the covers up over the head on the weekend, research shows consistent sleep night after night is actually the key to good sleep and better health.
The Serious Downside to Sleeping in on Weekends: https://www.rd.com/health/downside-sleeping-in-on-weekends/
Catching up on sleep over the weekend may not help the heart: https://newsarchive.heart.org/catching-sleep-weekend-may-not-help-heart/
Note: There was also a study done in 2017 that found that more sleep on the weekend improved health. I went with the opposing view because the research was newer and more consistent. Here is the link to the 2017 study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29790200