Researchers say you shouldn't feel guilty about catching up on your Z's.
The study, led by Torbjörn Åkerstedt, the director of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, tracked more than 43,000 people over a span of 13 years. People under the age of 65 who slept for five hours or less every night, all week, did not live as long as those who consistently slept seven hours a night.
There's no clear-cut answer yet on why sleeping on weekends makes a difference.
Dr Akerstedt said researchers had previously looked at links between sleep duration and mortality but had focused on sleep during the working week.
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And could even help you live longer. "If you can function on what you get, you are likely getting the right amount of sleep", Åkerstedt noted. Short sleepers slept for less than five hours per night. "This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend, and that this has implications for mortality". Not in the new study.
This study relied on people to describe their own sleep habits, which can generate a "mish-mosh", in Lauderdale's view, of "accurate and less accurate information".
"What happens is, if you are well-rested, your sleep drive will be low in the morning, and it builds and builds over the day, when at night you need to go to bed to relieve that pressure for sleep".
We often hear about how the most successful people wake up early and get a jump start on their day before the sun is up.
He said: "You can't keep burning the candle at both ends". "Perhaps it's giving them hope that this habit is in some way good for them".