Your Guide to Weekend Sleeping

Do you know how much you can really sleep on the weekend?

Posted Dec 06, 2018

Deposit Photos
Source: Deposit Photos

Researchers in Sweden recently published a very interesting study in the Journal of Sleep Research looking at how sleeping in on the weekends affects your health. Just to give a little background, we have seen in the sleep research literature for quite some time that there is what we call a U-Shaped curve for sleep duration and mortality. What this means is that too little sleep (less than 5 hours) or too much sleep (more than 10 hours) leads to an increased risk of mortality. Almost all of these studies looked at weekday sleep (not all, but many). The Swedish group followed a cohort of almost 44,000 people for 13 years, and here are a few things that they found:

For people who were less than 65 years old who slept less than 5 hours during the weekends had a 52 percent higher mortality rate than the comparison group who was the same age (<65) and sleeping 7 hours.

NO ASSOCIATION was found for long (greater than 9 hours) weekend sleep when compared to the comparison group (7-hour sleeper), for this age group.

The researchers stated “The mortality rate among participants with short sleep during weekdays, but long sleep during weekends, did not differ from the rate of the reference group. Among individuals ≥65 years old, no association between weekend sleep or weekday/weekend sleep durations and mortality was observed.”

Here is where I think every new outlet has missed the boat… The comparison group. They slept 7 hours, weekday and weekend, and were completely fine!

This only further proves my point that consistent total sleep time (and clock time, remember you want your circadian rhythms to be working well) is the best for your overall health. I was also interested in what happened to sleep in people over age 65, but unfortunately, there was no data on that.

The results are clear: If you stay in bed on the weekends for two hours longer than usual, you’re far more likely to be grouchy, fat, and sick. If you stay in bed for less than an hour on the weekends, though, you’re statistically safe from suffering the ill effects. With that in mind, here are each chronotype’s recommended workday wake times, from my book The Power of When, plus an extra forty-five minutes.

Dolphins: Non-work mornings until 7:15 a.m.

Lions: Non-work mornings until 6:45 a.m.

Bears: Non-work mornings until 8:00 a.m.

Wolves: Non-working mornings until 8:15 a.m.

Also in the Snooze News:

A new recipe called Moon Milk! Of all places, Bon Appétit did a really nice spread on sleep and one of the things I liked most was this new recipe called moon milk:

MOON MILK

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup whole milk or unsweetened nut milk (such as hemp, almond, or cashew)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ashwagandha (or another adaptogen, like shatavari or astralagus)
  • 2 pinches of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground ginger (optional)
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon honey, preferably raw

RECIPE PREPARATION

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger, if using, and nutmeg; season with pepper. Whisk vigorously to incorporate any clumps. Add coconut oil, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until warmed through, 5–10 minutes (the longer you go, the stronger the medicine). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in honey (you want to avoid cooking honey or you’ll destroy its healing goodness). Pour into a mug, drink warm, and climb right into bed.

There are several reasons why this may be helpful:

  • Nut-based milk is easier to digest, stops hunger issues, and is generally just better for you
  • Ashwaganda: this is a known relaxer, and something that often helps people to calm down.
  • Ghee, Coconut Oil or XTC Oil: this is GOOD FAT for your body and brain
  • Raw Honey: helps keep blood sugar stable throughout the night (but if you have diabetes this is not a good idea to add).

That’s all for now. I hope your night is amazing.