Hectic work schedules have made sleep nothing less than a luxury. Which is why the weekend feels somewhat incomplete without a peaceful afternoon sleep. However, a new study published in the journal Current Biology says that weekend sleep recovery might lead to weight gain and also increase insulin sensitivity in the body.
According to the study, during the weekend the total sleep duration was lower in women compared to men, and energy intake decreased to baseline levels in women but not in men. The findings suggest that weekend recovery sleep is not an effective strategy to prevent metabolic dysregulation associated with recurrent insufficient sleep.
The study was conducted on 36 healthy women and men, who were divided into three groups with different sleep schedules for a total of 10 days. The first group could sleep for nine hours each night. The second group was restricted to only five hours of sleep a night, while the third was restricted to five hours Monday through Friday but allowed to sleep as long as they wanted to on the weekend and go to bed as early as they liked on Sunday night.
The study explains how lack of sleep might also ignite risk for diabetes. It also said that short, insufficient sleep schedules may also lead to an inability to regulate blood sugar and increase the risk of metabolic disease in the long term.
“Metabolic syndrome is an array of symptoms such as fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, all of which can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” said study author Kenneth Wright Jr, who directs the sleep lab at the University of Colorado in Boulder.