Sleeping more on weekends does not reverse the damage caused by chronic sleep loss suffered during the week.
It is already established that there is a connection between getting too little sleep on a nightly basis and an increased risk of developing certain obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
An earlier study published in the Journal of Sleep Research suggested that when people get insufficient sleep on week nights they may recover by having longer sleep over the weekend.
A new study published in the Current Biology, however, contradicts this conclusion stating that more sleep on weekends is not, in fact, enough to reverse the damage that sleeps loss during the week causes.
The study author, Dr Kenneth Wright, said, “The key take-home message from this study is that ad libitum weekend recovery or catch-up sleep does not appear to be an effective countermeasure strategy to reverse sleep-loss-induced disruptions of metabolism.”
The researchers found that all of the participants who had to restrict their sleep during the week gained the habit of snacking after dinner, which also led to weight gain.
However, the study participants who enjoyed a weekend lie-in packed in fewer calories when snacking after dinner than those who continued on a restricted sleep regimen.