Weekend Sleep, Does A Few Extra Hours Actually Do Anything?:
Cats can teach us many things. Most especially, the value of Sleep.
As Science tries to become as wise as cats, it too is discovering the extreme value of getting a good night’s sleep. And all the problems from not getting one.
Whether you’re trying to solve the Night Owl / Standard Work Day conundrum with Sara Mednick’s recommended naps, or fixing your other weekly sins.
Researchers in Sweden took the idea of a Daily nap and ran with it to try fixing the most-serious problems from sleep-debt, and the answers are cautiously-surprising…
So Here Is The Problem, Sleep Debt Hurts:
There are all kinds of problems associated with not getting enough sleep.
These are starting to look like a minimum set of:
1) Obesity and Reduced Insulin Sensitivity
2) Slower Metabolism
3) Immune Problems
4) Increased Inflammation
5) Increased Chance of Colds & Flu
6) Lost Productivity
7) Increased Stress
8) Lower Work & Education Achievement
9) Reduced Creativity, Cognitive Function, Decision-Making, and Memory
10) Greater Risk For Anxiety & Depression
11) Greater Chance of Alzheimer’s & Dementia
and the big one:
12) Shorter Lifespan
And Shorter Lifespan Was The Focus Of This Study:
Over the course of about 13 years and over 43,000 subjects the role of sleep and early-mortality was studied.
What they found was that for people under 65, those who got about 7 hours a night were in pretty good shape.
-But for those that got around 5 hours or less a night, the risk of early death was increased by 52%!
Even the people who slept more than 8 hours a night had an increased risk of 25%!
All of this is a concern for Night Owls, because they can’t really change their body-clocks and get the least+worst sleep of all, and the mortality statistics show it.
Short, Bad Sleep = Early Grave:
Ok, so if bad sleep is going to put you in an early grave, then what can you do?
Well, our pal Sara Mednick The Queen of Sleep, would tell you to Take a Nap
And that’s where things get interesting.
Because there is a 2nd part to the Swedish research.
If you read the post about Sara’s work, you would think that you have to take a 60-minute nap 1x a day.
But the Swedes found something different!!!
Weekend Sleep Ins, Can You Use Saturdays To Stock-Up?:
Who knows if it’s a magic-bullet, but the researchers found out something very interesting about the weekend.
People who Slept-In On The Weekends had a lower early-mortality rate.
That rate was even the same as the people who get the best sleep of all.
Not only that but more-specifically,
The people who spent 5 days of the week only getting 5 hours or less,
-Who then slept-in on the weekends,
Had the same early-death risk as average people getting the best sleep.
Not A Guarantee, Yet:
Now even the head researcher was quick to point-out that this is a Correlation only (as you hear a lot in studies) and not a guarantee.
It seems unlikely an extra 2 or 4 hours on the weekends can fix it,
But for now and especially if you’re a night-owl, as they are most at-risk for early mortality,
=If you’re not getting afternoon-naps at least a few times a week,
There might be a small chance that sleeping in on weekends just might spare you all kinds of health or mental-problems, and perhaps even save your life!
Photo Credits: “cat 4”, by Menno Groenmen
• Source: The Guardian
• More Coverage: NSF-How Much Sleep Do We Need?
• Source Study: J.SleepRsrch. – Sleep duration and mortality – Does weekend sleep matter?