A new study by the Sleep Research Society has found that laying in bed on weekends may actually be good for you.
The study, which was led by Torbjörn Åkerstedt, a biological psychology professor at the Center for Stress Research at Stockholm University, has found that the amount of hours people spend sleeping in total may be more important than getting a set amount of hours on any given night.
Contrary to the rule-of-thumb that one cannot makeup for lost sleep, Åkerstedt’s study reveals that getting a few extra hours when you can is beneficial for those who need it.
“It seems like you actually can compensate by catching up on sleep during weekends,” says Åkerstedt. “This is in effect an argument for lazing around all weekend.”
His study took into account the general health and sleeping patterns of 43,000 people and found that both too much sleep and too little sleep led to higher rates of early mortality. His study reports that the ideal number of hours a person should get at night is seven.
Less than six hours and more than eight hours of sleep at one time can tip the scale toward health issues. But he notes that after a long week, if you feel you need a few hours of extra sleep, don’t worry.
“There probably is an upper limit,” Åkerstedt said, “but it’s anyway better to increase (hours spent sleeping) on the weekend rather than not doing it at all.”