While it was previously thought that we were able to repay our sleep debts by catching up on lost sleep at the weekends, recent findings appear to contradict this.
The study focused on 36 young and healthy participants divided into 3 groups.
- The first group had only 5 hours sleep each night through the week and weekend.
- The second group had only 5 hours sleep per night during the week followed up unrestricted sleep at the weekend and then another 2 nights of 5 hours sleep.
- The third group acted as the control and were permitted to sleep up to 9 hours each night during the week and weekend.
It was discovered that those who had their sleep restricted gained a habit of snacking which in turn led to weight gain. Although the group who were able to catch up on sleep at the weekend appeared to snack less, their body clocks were still disrupted enough for them to experience weight gain.
It was also found that the groups who had restricted sleep had lower insulin sensitivity. Lower insulin sensitivity can indicate diabetes, and these levels were detected in both restricted sleep groups. So, even though they were able to catch up on sleep at the weekend, the sleep did not affect the group’s ability to recover their insulin levels effectively.
So, if you are hoping to catch up on your sleep this weekend – the bad news is that it won’t help you to avoid incurring health issues.
The best way to avoid these potential problems is to ensure that you get the recommended 7-9 hours sleep per night. If you are unable to do this, try to make sure you do the following to promote good sleep hygiene:
- Regularly exercise
- Eat a balanced diet
- Stick to a sleep-wake routine, even at the weekend
- Listen to meditation before bed
- Avoid using phones and laptops in the bedroom
- Have an evening ritual to wind down before bed – sip chamomile tea, have a warm bath, read a book etc
- Use a smart pillow to listen to relaxing music
- Use a sleep monitor to track your nightly habits and work out what you can improve
If you would like to find out more about how a REM-Fit Mattress, REM-Fit Sleep Monitoring technology or Zeeq Smart Pillows can help you to get a better night’s rest, please get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable staff by calling 020 8731 0020 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.