Can we really catch up on lost sleep at the weekend?

Can we really catch up on lost sleep at the weekend?

We’ve all been there – rolling over in bed on a Sunday morning with the clock reading midday, feeling refreshed after a much longer sleep than the days before.

But having a weekend lie-in might not actually make up for sleep loss during the working week, according to new research.

Although scientists have previously found that a lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity and diabetes, until now it has not necessarily been clear whether sleeping more on the weekend could make up for lost time in the week.

However, new research, published in the journal Current Biology, suggests that it perhaps does not. Even if people are having lie-ins at the weekend after a particularly busy week, studies found that any benefits are transient, and that by the middle of another working week, the body’s routines and metabolism are in fact just as disrupted, if not more so, than if they had not slept in.

Silentnight’s resident sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, believes that oversleeping on weekends isn’t necessarily disastrous if done in moderation, although outright ‘bingeing’ on sleep can disrupt your normal routine throughout the week.

Commenting on the topic, Dr Nerina, said: “The belief that you can simply ‘catch up’ on sleep could be seriously damaging your sleep pattern. While it’s true that you can catch up to some extent, you can’t actually fully recover.

“You should get into a good, regular routine if you want to really reap the healing benefits of sleep, and beat your sleep problems for good.”


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