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Study finds sleeping in on weekends may help you live longer

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Stockholm — Planning on sleeping in this weekend? It might be good for your health.

New research from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute suggests sleeping longer on weekends may counteract the health risks associated with not getting enough sleep during the week.

Researchers analyzed the health records of nearly 44,000 people. They found that adults younger than 65 who slept an average of five hours or less per weeknight but got eight or more hours of sleep on the weekends did not have an increased risk of early death, compared to those who slept six to seven hours each week night.

In contrast, those who slept for five hours or less a night on weekends had a mortality rate 52 percent higher than people who slept for seven hours a night on weekends.

“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,” the researchers said. “This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend, and that this has implications for mortality.”

The study was published online May 22 in the Journal of Sleep Research.

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