The latest study, published last week in the Journal of Sleep Research, address the association of both weekday and weekend sleep duration with overall mortality. People who slept for fewer than the recommended seven hours each weekday, but caught an extra hour or two on weekends, lived just as long as people who always slept seven hours, the authors reported.
Researchers in Sweden looked at sleep data covering more than 43,000 people.
"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", a section of the research read. But a professor from the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University said perhaps short sleepers are catching up on some of the sleep they missed on the other days.
Previous sleep studies asked people to count their hours of sleep for an average night, without distinguishing between workdays and days off.
Lack of enough sleep can lead to serious health problems. The study also demonstrates that sleeping too much or too little heightens our risk of death; if people sleep less than 5 hours or if they sleep over 9 hours per night then they're at a higher risk of death than people who sleep between 6 to 7 hours per night.
Curiously, after the age of 65, there is no relationship between sleep duration and mortality. The take home point is that possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep.
Sleep is something you need to replenish regularly if you don't want to hurt your health.
There are few things in life more satisfying than crawling into bed on Friday night knowing you'll get a well-deserved lie-on in the morning. Monday was found to be the day of the week when people feel the least energetic.