We’re all too familiar with a sleep-deprived weekday. Whether we’ve stayed up late to hit a deadline, spent the evening out with friends, or binged on the latest Netflix show, the next morning’s alarm is often our worst enemy.
The idea of waking up at our leisure can often help drive us through the week. But does sleeping in and those extra hours of shut-eye actually help us manage the damage done by skipping out on shut-eye? New research suggests that we’re in luck.
One third of Americans don’t get enough sleep (less than seven hours per night). This not only makes us yawn our way through the day, but also leads to a slew of health problems. Yet, a study published in the Journal of Sleep has some good news for those of us who rely on quiet weekend mornings to catch up on some z’s.
To learn more about how sleep habits affect mortality rate, Psychologist Torbjörn Åkerstedt, director of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, and his team tracked almost 44,000 people over the course of 13 years.
The results show that if we sleep for five hours or less on weekdays, hiding under our comforter for eight or more hours on the weekend can make up for it.
The results show that if we sleep for five hours or less on weekdays, hiding under our comforter for eight or more hours on the weekend can make up for it. The people who were sleep deprived during the week, but had a lie-in on the weekend, had the same mortality rate as those who consistently slept for seven hours every night (life goals).
While Åkerstedt does warn that this is a tentative conclusion, you can rest assured that going to bed with no alarm set on a Friday night is going to do you good. Don’t stress about messing up your sleep cycle or missing out on some peaceful weekend waking hours—there’s a reason your eyes want to stay closed when the sun comes up.
Try to treat sleep as active time: it’s needed for a longer, healthier life. Give your body and mind the rest it wants— and stop feeling guilty for rolling out of bed and straight into Sunday afternoon. If you’re looking for a quiet, serene place to squeeze in those extra hours, we know just the spot.