If you tend to have a hectic schedule, then you are likely already familiar with the feeling of not being able to get much sleep during the week, and with research suggesting that sleeping in on weekends does not do your body any favors, it can be difficult to really take care of your health. However, a new study that has recently been published in the journal Sleep has discovered that having a small lie-in on the weekends, and catching up on lost sleep from during the week, can actually be quite beneficial.

The Study
The study was carried out by researchers in South Korea, who studied 2156 adults, comparing their sleeping habits to their BMI, which is a great way to identify health risks within an individual. The researchers split these people into two groups, one who did not compensate for lost sleep during the weekend, and one that did. They discovered that those who slept in on the weekends, and caught up on their sleep, actually had a BMI that was slightly lower than those who had simply missed out on vital sleep, with every extra hour of weekend sleep leading to a drop in BMI.

Sleep and Metabolism
When it comes to sleep deprivation, experiencing this in the long term can have some seriously detrimental effects on your body’s hormones and metabolism, which then leads to a number of different side effects, one of which is obesity. However, catching up on sleep over the weekend means that you would still end up with the same number of hours of sleep as those who sleep regularly throughout the week, which can really help your body to thrive.

Woman having a nice sleep on bed

The Circadian Rhythm
Your body’s circadian rhythm dictates when it naturally falls asleep and wakes up, and while catching up on sleep over the weekend is definitely beneficial, your health will do much better if you are able to stick to regular sleep patterns throughout the week. Between seven to nine hours of sleep a night is best, and you should try to go to sleep, and wake up, at the same time each day.

The Benefits of Quality Sleep
Regular, quality sleep is essential for optimum health, and brings with it a whole array of different benefits. Many studies have pointed to the fact that healthy sleep habits can help to prevent everything from heart disease to diabetes, while reducing any chronic pain, as well as your body’s risk for injury. It will also help your brain to thrive, improving your memory in particular, while giving your immune system a huge boost.

While it may seem difficult to establish a regular sleeping routine, this will be hugely beneficial to you in the long run. However, in the meantime, if you do end up missing out on a few hours of sleep during the week, catching up on this over the weekend is far better for you than just letting those precious hours slide, so make sure that you are clocking in enough sleep hours overall.