Weekend sleep-ins are bad for you, study finds

omg 01/03/2019

Sleeping in on the weekends doesn't make up for lost shuteye during the week - in fact, it could be making things worse.

While it might make you feel better on the day, in the long-run you're still going to suffer the ill-effects of sleep deprivation, a new study has found.

"Weekend recovery or catch-up sleep does not appear to be an effective countermeasure strategy to reverse sleep loss induced disruptions of metabolism," said Kenneth Wright of the University of Colorado, who co-led a new study into catch-up sleep.

Participants were divided into three groups - the first were allowed a full nine hours' sleep a night, the second five hours, and the third five hours during the week followed by two days of sleeping as much as they like, before going back to five hours a night.

Both of the groups who had restrictions on their sleep ate more and gained weight. The group that were allowed to sleep in on the weekends ate less on those particular days, but went straight back to pigging out once they were back on the five-hour sleep schedule.

The two sleep-restricted groups also showed lowered sensitivity to insulin, which has been linked to obesity - and it was worse for those getting catch-up sleep.

"Our findings show that muscle- and liver-specific insulin sensitivity were worse in subjects who had weekend recovery sleep," said study co-leader Christopher Depner.

"This finding was not anticipated and further shows that weekend recovery sleep is not likely to be an effective sleep-loss countermeasure regarding metabolic health when sleep loss is chronic."

But it still might be a good idea after a one-off night of sleeplessness they said, with more research needed.

The study was published Friday in journal Cell Press.