Don't feel guilty about sleeping in late on weekends. However, those who catch up with sleep during the weekends and for that period sleep for 8 hours or more per day do not have an increased risk of premature death.
Researchers surveyed around 44,000 people in Sweden about their sleep habits, and followed up after 13 years to see who was still alive.
According to a study by Swedish and United States researchers, people under 65-years-old are at greater risk of death if they get less than five hours sleep on the weekends.
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"The mortality rate among participants with short sleep during weekdays, but long sleep during weekends, did not differ from the rate of the reference group", the study summary says.
"Sleep duration is important for longevity", said Dr Torbjorn Akerstedt, first author of the study, at the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, and Karolinska Institute, also in the Swedish capital. "This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend, and that this has implications for mortality". They might sleep six hours or slightly less.
People younger than 65 who slept for five hours or less every night, all week, did not live as long as those who consistently slept seven hours per night.
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The scientific jury is still out on why too much sleep is associated with an uptick in mortality rates.
Not in the new study. If you don't get enough sleep, you wake up with that sleep pressure and start the day with a higher need for it. "Perhaps it's giving them hope that this habit is in some way good for them".
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