The study found that people who sleep five hours or less per night including the weekends had higher mortality rates.
Lead by Torbjörn Åkerstedt, professor at the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, the research team analysed information on health and sleeping habits gathered from 43,880 participants over the course of 13 years.
According to a study by Swedish and USA researchers, people under 65-years-old are at greater risk of death if they get less than five hours sleep on the weekends.
The authors, writing in the Journal of Sleep Research, noted: 'The results imply that short (weekday) sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep'. This study was not an experiment, Akerstedt emphasized, and these data can not show that short or long sleep is responsible for higher mortality.
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Previous sleep studies asked people to count their hours of sleep for an average night, without distinguishing between workdays and days off. Lack of sleep can have dire consequences for your health.
The study also found that the link between sleep patterns and mortality disappeared for those aged 65 or older. The findings showed that people who slept for short amounts of time during the week and the weekend had a 52% increased rate of mortality. This peek at weekend slumber fills in an "overlooked" gap in sleep science, Akerstedt said. He was not involved in the new study. Whether that's going to bed at 8 on a Friday night, sleeping in till 11 on a Saturday morning, or snoozing in the subway on your way to meet friends, do it. Grab that sleep by the horns and don't let go - you may just live longer for it.
After a week of early starts, most people look forward to having a long lie-in on the weekend and it turns out that by doing so we're actually prolonging our life. "Perhaps it's giving them hope that this habit is in some way good for them".