If you are anything like me, you spend so much of your week mismanaging your time, staying up late, and procrastinating on sleep by watching old episodes of Vanderpump Rules that, by the time the weekend rolls around, pretty much all you can do is sleep. It’s a bad cycle! And this, I have always been told, is not very good for me or my health. In fact, according to some much-publicized research from 2015, the act of sleeping in is slowly killing us all by causing higher body mass index, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
But. You might not have to break out your alarm clock quite yet because, according to new research published in Sleep magazine this year, sleeping in may, in fact, not be all that bad for you. The findings of the study, which was done in South Korea, indicate that sleeping in on the weekends can have some health benefits.
The study compared people who didn’t get enough sleep throughout the week but caught up on sleep on the weekends (which is what many of us probably do) with people who slept too little and did not make up for it over the weekends. They found that those who slept in on the weekends had slightly healthier body weights. This, the study concludes, indicates that “weekend sleep extension may have biological protective effects in preventing sleep-restriction induced or related obesity. ”
This result, in and of itself, might feel like a little bit of a “duh”–like, of course people who at least try to catch up on their sleep debt are going to be healthier than those who don’t. (You’ve most likely noticed this yourself, in that you probably feel better when you get a good night’s sleep as opposed to when you don’t.) But, since earlier sleep-related research suggested that the occasional weekend sleep-in was literally killing anyone who chose to do so, this is an important development.
Basically, what this means for you is that you should do what makes you feel best when it comes to sleep–within your best judgment. Most studies have showed that consistency is the best practice when it comes to sleep, so, if you can, try and maintain a regular, sufficient sleep schedule. But this, as we all know, is not always possible. So, if you do like to sleep in on the weekends, you can rest assured that this is not, in fact, killing you.
What do you think about this study? Do you think it’s accurate? Do you care? Let us know in the comments!