You Will Live Longer If You Sleep More on Saturdays and Sundays

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It plays havoc on your circadian rhythm to wake up early five days a week, and then sleep till the afternoon the other two, so it's best to try and tack those extra hours of sleep to the beginning of your bedtime.

Don't feel so guilty next time you sleep in at the weekend - it could be prolonging your life.

Previous studies have found a U?shaped relationship between mortality and (weekday) sleep duration. A cohort of 43,880 subjects was followed for 13 years through record?linkages. That's a rate of about six deaths per 1,000 people per year. By comparison, the world mortality rate in 2010 was almost eight in 1,000. The groups were again divided and paired by weekday and weekend sleep habits.

The study found that individuals younger than 65 who slept for fewer than 5 hours per night the entire week faced a 52% higher mortality rate. A short-short sleeper got less than five hours a night all week long.

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According to Torbjörn Åkerstedt, co-author of the study, these findings suggest that weekend sleep can supplement weeknight's rest, allowing your body to get the sleep it needs for good functioning.

"Short sleep (or long sleep) on both weekdays and weekend showed increased mortality".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults aged 18-60 get at least seven hours of sleep per night. "Sleeping less than seven hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes", the academy wrote in a consensus statement. It is otherwise impractical to accumulate data at such a scale.

The researchers tried to account for the usual gremlins that influence sleep: alcohol consumption, coffee intake, naps, smoking, shift work and similar factors, and used statistical methods to control for their effect.