Sleeping more on weekends does not compensate for lack of sleep throughout the week
The body is not forgotten. He pretends to do it, convinces himself of it and elaborates very complicated theories about why sleep is not so important: but in the end, the body always keeps the souvenirs of insomnia. Immunological, metabolic (2 and 3), cardiovascular, psychological (and 2) and even social problems of lack of sleep do not leave us.
And no, it is not enough not to set the alarm clock on weekends.Kenneth Wright of the University of Colorado at Boulder and his research team studied what happens when people try to make up for lack of sleep during the week by sleeping late on weekends. Spoiler: nothing good.
"I don't set the alarm clock on weekend and ready ..."
Wright's team compared the metabolic effects of three groups of people with different sleep regimes. The first group slept five hours a day throughout the week; the second slept nine all week; and the third group slept five hours on weekdays and "whatever they wanted" on weekends.
After the first week of the study, participants in the first group started eating more (and worse) at dinner, gained weight, and even showed reduced insulin sensitivity compared to the second group. There is no great news here, it was something we already knew: sleeping too little has devastating effects on who we are.
THE problem was in the third group. Traditionally, we've been told that regaining hours of sleep over the weekend could help combat some of the worst metabolic problems related to insomnia and lack of sleep. And yes, in light of the data, it seems true. But it's not enough.
The group that had sleep restrictions during the week, but could sleep freely on Saturday and Sunday suffered less metabolically, but the metabolic effects of insomnia persisted for the following week and accumulated. That is, getting extra sleep on weekends is probably not enough to reduce the health risks related to insufficient sleep.
Makes sense. If you allow me the metaphor, a muscle problem caused by excesses for which we are not prepared is not solved with a break. This is also the case with sleep: it is very difficult to alleviate its effects on our health without healthy habits. And by "very difficult" I mean, increasingly impossible according to the available research. It is not a bad idea to take note.