In words that none of us want to hear, there is a warning out that sleeping in on the weekend is bad for you. For some time now warnings have been sounded about the risks of heart disease and diabetes for shiftworkers whose schedules vary but now this new study shows there could be similar issues for those who like to lie in on a Saturday and Sunday and enjoy different sleeping patterns.
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A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism measured 447 people, detecting their movement and tracking when they went to sleep and woke up. The data showed that 85 percent of people went to bed and woke up later on their “days off” and that the people who had the greatest mismatch in sleep timing had a higher metabolic risk.
Sleeping late on days off was linked to a myriad of issues like higher insulin resistance, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, higher triglycerides and higher body mass index. The associations persisted after controlling for physical activity, caloric intake, alcohol use and other factors.
“It’s not clear yet that this is a long-term effect,” said the lead author, Patricia M. Wong, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. “But we think of this as people having to sleep and work out of sync with their internal clock, and that having to be out of sync may be having these health effects.”