To Your Health
June, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 06)
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Short on Sleep? You Can Make It Up

By Editorial Staff

Sleep deprivation is at an all-time high, with technology, manic schedules and historic opportunities to do things other than sleep all to blame. The health consequences of inadequate / poor sleep, especially when chronic in nature, are dramatic, including increased risk of suffering illness / disease (heart disease, depression, etc.) and even early death.

Fortunately, research suggests if you don't get enough sleep during the week, you can make up for it on the weekends. Published in the Journal of Sleep Research, the study found that people who slept only about five hours a night, including weekend nights, were at increased risk for dying during the 13-year tracking period compared to people who slept seven hours a night, on average. (By the way, people who slept more than eight hours a night also had an increased mortality rate compared to the seven-hour sleepers.)

Now here's where it gets interesting. Researchers found that people who slept only five hours a night on weekdays, but essentially made up the difference with extra sleep on weekends, normalized their risk of dying, equal to that of the seven-hour-a-night sleepers. Good news for anyone who can't seem to get enough sleep during the work or school week, but has more time on Saturday / Sunday. Talk to your doctor for more information about the health benefits of consistent high-quality sleep and how to ensure you're getting it.