Weekend lie-ins make you more tired, researcher claims

Swedish researchers claim changing sleeps patterns can cause more damage than good

Sally Guyoncourt
Sunday 11 September 2016 17:42 BST
'Do not sleep in late on weekends,' says researcher (file pic)
'Do not sleep in late on weekends,' says researcher (file pic)

Many see it as an essential at the end of a busy week but doctors have now warned against indulging in the weekend lie-in.

Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute claim sleeping in late on Saturday and Sunday messes with the natural rhythms of your body making you feel worse rather than more rested.

Psychologist and sleep researcher Susanna Jernelov told The Local: “It’s partly because of our circadian rhythm, so when you sleep in later, it’s like giving yourself a bit of jet-lag and jet-lag makes you less bright and perky.

“If you sleep a little bit too little all the time and just catch up on the weekends, you are messing with your circadian rhythms, you should stay on a regular schedule but that doesn’t really work with most people’s lives.”

Her claims have been backed by fellow sleep researcher Bjorn Bjorvatn from the University of Bergen in Norway.

He told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK: “You should get up and go to bed at about the same time every day.

“Do not sleep in late on weekends. Do not have a lie-in.

“If you get up at 12pm on the weekend, it will take time for your rhythm to adjust back”

And despite the onset of autumn and winter being the most tempting time to stay in bed, he said it was actually the most important time of the year to stick to your normal sleep routine for wellbeing.

It is not the first time the weekend lie-in has come in for criticism from the medical world.

Last year, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism linked sleeping in at the weekend with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

The research found an association between changing sleep patterns and changes in blood test results, with levels of the fat triglyceride increased and the level of the “good” type of cholesterol lowered.

Those who shifted their sleep pattern were also more likely gain weight during the study.

All of which has left the future of slumber at the weekend looking less than golden.

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