Experts have been quite adamant that sleeping in on the weekends isn’t the best solution to paying off your sleep debt. Especially if you intend to sleep the entire day away just so you can get back hours of the sleep you’ve missed during the weekdays, you won’t exactly be doing any favors to your body, but might actually make things even worse instead.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping in on weekends can throw off your body clock, which, in turn, can wreak your sleeping hygiene for the following week. This can actually be the very cause for your sleep deprivation issues, making the whole activity counterintuitive.
However, there’s no denying that sleeping in on the weekends is one of the most enjoyable and luxurious things that you can do without spending a lot of money. Lots of people may already know that they shouldn’t sleep in but still do it because of the sheer fun of it.
As we’re so fond of staying cozy, we’re also a bit guilty of doing this “bad habit” from time to time. This is why we’re a bit ecstatic to find an emerging research that shows some evidence that sleeping in on the weekends can be beneficial in terms of your BMI (Body Mass Index).
According to a study conducted by specialists in South Korea, those who doesn’t sleep too well during the week and compensates for it on the weekends tend to have slightly lower BMI compared to those who sleep little all week-long. The study has shown that every hour of extra sleep amounted to about 0.12 lower BMI, which can still be a good amount, given that all you have to do is sleep a bit more.
Another study has also shown that sleeping in on the weekends help those who are at risk of diabetes. As sleep deprivation can up your chances of contracting this blood sugar problem, not getting enough zzz’s can lead to serious complications that can even be life-threatening later on. So, a few healthy men were subjected to a few quick tests where they were sleep deprived for 4 days and then allowed extended sleep hours on the next two evenings.
Results have shown that their insulin sensitivity fell by 23% and their bodies produced more insulin to compensate. After the nights when they slept more, their insulin levels bounced back to their normal levels, making the experts theorize that sleeping in may also have its own benefits. However, data for long term practice is unavailable, so we can’t say for certain if the pattern can be an ideal setup for regular people.
So where do we stand in all of these? We’re all for a healthy sleep hygiene, so we like to promote a bit of sleeping in. It should still be limited to an hour or less, though, so you won’t damage your internal body clock and feel tired and sluggish when Monday rolls in. As sleep debt isn’t exactly paid off in increments and can only be handled by sleeping better in general, it’s best if you’ll make the effort to have a better relationship with your slumber to get rid of your sleep debt once and for all.