Sleeping Late on the Weekends

Because our lives are so busy, we usually don’t get the required hours of sleep that our bodies need or what’s recommended by sleep experts. To compensate for this, many people sleep in on the weekends.

But is it really effective and are there any effects of sleeping late?

Millions of people suffer from sleep deprivation. This can lead to a sleep debt, which is the difference between how much sleep you require and how much you’re actually getting. Research shows that when you lose sleep even just a few days, it can affect you negatively and cause adverse effects on your immune, cardiovascular, nervous and endocrine systems.

Teenagers are more likely to indulge in weekend sleeping than adults. In fact, around 80 percent of teenagers don’t get the nine hours of recommended sleep, particularly during their school week. They stay up late each night to do homework, spend time with friends, or participate in extracurricular activities — all of which results in them struggling to wake up the next morning for school.

This builds up a sleep deficit that teens usually use the weekends to make up for. This is not to say that middle-aged adults don’t take advantage of their weekend mornings, too.

Many people enjoy the guilty pleasure of sleeping late on weekends. It feels so good! But even if you feel more rested on Monday morning, this extra sleep won’t eliminate the risks of sleep deprivation. In fact, it may even have downsides, such as disrupting in your circadian rhythm which makes it more difficult to get to sleep at night. This eventually creates a cycle of negative sleep patterns.

Bottom line is this: you can use the weekends as an occasional or short-term sleep strategy, but it’s not something you should do regularly. Ideally, you should go to bed and get up in the morning at roughly the same time every day.

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