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‘Sleeping in’ on weekends may be bad for your health: study

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Boston – Going to bed later and waking up later on weekends than during the week – also known as social jet lag – may be linked to poor health and higher levels of sleepiness and fatigue, according to the preliminary results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona.

The researchers surveyed 984 adults between the ages of 22 and 60 on sleep duration, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, mood, fatigue and sleepiness. Participants reported their overall health on a standardized scale, according to a June 5 press release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Results showed each hour of social jet lag was linked to an 11.1 percent increase in the chances of developing heart disease. In addition, participants who experienced social jet lag were 28.3 percent more likely to report their health as “fair/poor.”

“These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health,” Sierra Forbush, lead author and undergraduate research assistant at the University of Arizona’s Sleep and Health Research Program, said in the release. “This suggests that a regular sleep schedule may be an effective, relatively simple and inexpensive preventative treatment for heart disease, as well as many other health problems.”

AASM recommends that adults sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

The study abstract was published in an online supplement to the journal Sleep.

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