Sleeping In On Weekends Might Help You Live Longer

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"The results imply that short (weekday) sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep", the researchers wrote in the study.

Torbjörn Åkerstedt, a professor and director of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University told CNN he was quite surprised by the findings on sleep during off days. It found that people who regularly slept about five hours or less a night, including on weekends, saw a higher mortality rate - the likelihood of death during the study period - compared with those who regularly got seven hours.

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The findings are based on almost 44,000 people in Sweden over a 13-year period. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends adults ages 18 to 60 sleep about seven hours per night.

Not having a sufficient amount of sleep obviously isn't ideal, as it's been linked to having a higher risk of developing conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Researchers say that older people need less sleep and they also sleep more during the week.

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The scientists discovered that people who slept five hours or fewer during the week, but got over eight hours of rest on the weekends, did not have any increase in their mortality rate. They might sleep six hours or slightly less.

Weekends are my saving grace - I wake up at 4 a.m. during the week, and I have zero qualms about sleeping until 10 on the weekends (or as late as my children allow). The take home point is that possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep.

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A man sleeping in bed Infront of an alarm clock.

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