(Mirror Daily, United States) – That snooze button isn’t doing you much good, because sleeping in on weekends could damage your health, according to a new study. Changing patterns of resting hours could actually cause harm, whether you sleep less or more on the weekends. The odds are though, that most are choosing to prolong their slumber.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have closely monitored participants and their sleeping schedules. They conducted a study 447 men and women, between the ages of 30 and 54 years old. It was noted that all were healthy before the study. For one week, the participants wore a sleep-tracking wristwear, closely keeping watch for 24 hours each day.
With the aid of the wrist accelerometer (Actiwatch-16), the researchers were able to precisely measure the amount of sleep each of the participants got. It helped their study in keeping track of what is called ‘social jetlag’. Social jetlag is the difference, in minutes, between the amount of sleep people get between work days and off days. Be it on the positive or negative side.
Their results showed that absolutely none of the participants kept their regular hours during the weekend. A number of 85% of them slept in (slept more than on work days), while the rest 15% actually slept less in their days off. The overall difference was 44 minutes in one direction or another. There were fewer who changed their patterns by two or three hours.
The disruptions were strongly associated with health issues.
The problem with these modifications in sleep time also arrive with several risks. They could cause long-term harm by increasing the risk for a few conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. It’s because the change in sleep patterns essentially throws off the body’s internal clocks. It causes changes in the metabolism that could be severely damaging.
According to lead author of the study, Patricia Wong, those who slept 60 minutes more than their regular work days had an increased level of unhealthy cholesterol and insulin. Furthermore, they also had a tendency of having a higher BMI, and larger waist sizes. It may not be a cause-and-effect association, but Wong underlines the fact that it should at least warrant more investigation.
Their results arrived even after eliminating other factors such as alcohol use, smoking, exercise, calorie intake, or sleep quality.
The inconsistent sleeping patterns known as social jetlag may raise certain health risks because it unfortunately messes with the body’s biological clock. So, there’s unfortunately another reason to feel guilty after sleeping in.
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