For those who manage to get through the week on 4-5 hours of shut eye a night, we’re sure we don’t need to tell you about the effects of sleep deprivation. Urgh!
But what we are happy to announce is, that you might have a golden ticket to hit the snooze button (once, twice, ten times) on weekends.
This exciting news comes from a recent study out of the Journal of Diabetics Care which suggests that sleeping in on the weekend could promote good health. Researchers have said that having extra sleep for the two nights could help counteract any increased risk of diabetes caused by a lack of sleep during the week.
For the study, 19 healthy young men participated, by which the experiment was split into two parts. Part one monitored the normal sleeping patterns of these men who spent 8.5 hours in bed for four consecutive nights. During part two, the same men only slept an average of 4.3 hours per night for four days. However, there were allowed two extra nights to sleep in, where they averaged 9.7 hours of sleep each night.
The next stage involved the researchers measuring the disposition index, a predictor of diabetes risk, and insulin sensitivity (or insulin resistance). To help put things into perspective, those who have low insulin resistance often need larger amounts of insulin produced from their pancreas or from an insulin injection to keep their blood sugar levels stable.
So interestingly, for the men who endured the four nights of little sleep, the insulin sensitivity decreased by 23 per cent, while diabetes risk increased by 16 per cent. But, after having the two nights of extended sleep, this was all reversed. Insulin sensitivity and diabetes risk both returned to normal after having a few extra hours of shut eye.
The authors warn that more research needs to be done and the data of this study was only taken from a short amount of time and wasn’t long term. But do believe the results provide some evidence of the benefits of sleeping in on weekends. Yes!