So, you like a weekend nap or two, but it feels like a waste of a good Saturday afternoon? Stay in bed- that rest is good for your health. “Sleep duration is important for longevity,” says Torbjörn Åkerstedt, at the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, and Karolinska Institute. Akerstedt authored a study that showed that adults under the age of 65 who get five or less hours of sleep for seven days a week have a higher risk of death than those who usually get 6-7 hours daily.
But more importantly for nappers, the research found that those who slept little during the week but then had a long snooze during weekends had no increase in mortality rates.
“The assumption in this is that weekend sleep is a catch-up sleep,” says Åkerstedt, but believes his study did not prove that to be the case.
So how do you tell if you need more sleep? Stuart Pierson, an expert on the human “body clock”, told the Guardian: “It (the study) fits with what we do know about sleep – that sleep is regulated by the body clock but also regulated by what is called a homeostatic process, which means the longer you are awake the more you need to sleep.”
So there you have it- if you’re up longer on weekdays, make sure you rest longer on weekends!