Catching up on lost sleep over weekends may help people keep their weight down, according to a study.
Not getting enough sleep can disrupt hormones and metabolism and is known to increase the risk of obesity , researchers wrote in the journal `Sleep’. “Short sleep, usually causing sleep debt, is common and inevitable in many cases, and is a risk factor for obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease, as well as mortality ,” lead author Chang-Ho Yun of the Seoul National University Budang Hospital said.
Sleeping in may be better than napping, as the sleep may be deeper and follows the body’s sleep-wake rhythms more closely, Yun said.
To determine how weekend sleep is related to body weight, the researchers used data from a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 people who ranged in age from 19 to 82 years old. Researchers asked participants about their height and weight, weekday and weekend sleep habits, mood and medical conditions. The study team used this information to determine BMI, a measure of weight relative to height, and whether participants engaged in catchup sleep on weekends.
Weekend catch-up sleep was defined as sleeping more hours on weekend nights compared to weekday nights.
On average, the participants slept 7.3 hours per night and had BMIs of 23, which falls in the healthy range.
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