Good news if you were able to slip in some extra Zs this Memorial Day Weekend: A new, 13-year study of sleep habits finds that sleeping in on the weekend can add years to your life.
The new study, published this week in the Journal of Sleep Research, focused on the impact of weekend sleep versus weekday sleep. It followed 43,000 people over the course of 13 years.
The Swedish research team, led by Torbjörn Åkerstedt, found — in short — that “long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep.”
Study: Weekend sleep can make up for short sleep during the week
The study found that for people 65 and under, weekend sleep could make up for deficits of sleep accrued during the week.
Individuals in the study who slept for fewer than 5 hours per night during the week faced a 52% higher mortality rate; however, those who could get an extra two hours of sleep on the weekends lived just as long as those who consistently slept 7 hours a night during the week.
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Sadly, getting 9 hours of sleep or more on weekend morning conferred no additional benefit — at least not one observed in this study. (It still probably felt pretty good.)
Previous studies have shown similar results
This study follows previous research, including another sleep study that found that weekend sleep can compensate for missed weekday sleep.
At the time, that study’s lead author, the same Torbjörn Åkersted, said that you could put the findings of his study into practice.
“It seems like you actually can compensate by catching up on sleep during weekends,” Åkerstedt told Business Insider.
“This is in effect an argument for lazing around all weekend. There probably is an upper limit, but it’s anyway better to increase [sleep hours] on the weekend rather than not doing it at all.”