Working for the weekend

Sure, most people know they should clock in eight hours of sleep every night. But that doesn’t mean they do.

The reality is that most busy professionals are lucky if they can score six hours of shut eye on the average weeknight. And unfortunately, this comes with consequences to your health.

Now the good news: New research shows that you can minimize at least one of these consequences by playing “catch up” on the weekend.

A group of Australian researchers studied 19 non-diabetic men who reported an average of five years’ worth of workweek sleep deprivation. The men reported sleeping for about six hours each work night.

But all of them also reported making up for this sleep debt by getting just over two more hours of sleep per night on the weekends.

Over two separate weekends, the men spent the night in a sleep lab. Researchers tested how their insulin levels responded to continued sleep restriction versus 10 hours of undisturbed sleep each night.

Results showed that the men who slept in on the weekends enjoyed greater insulin sensitivity–and consequently, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes–in return.

So go ahead and give your alarm clock the morning off tomorrow… because this is one of the best excuses to sleep in I’ve heard yet.

Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). “Getting enough sleep could help prevent type 2 diabetes.” ScienceDaily, 18 Jun. 2013. Web. 2 Jul. 2013.