Sleeping In on the Weekends... Is not Helping You!!

There is a common practice in our society, when it comes to sleep.  For most of us working a standard 9 to 5 and having the weekends off, the majority try to catch up on rest Saturday and Sunday.  However, studies are showing a different outcome when it comes to proper rest and results from lack thereof.  Quoting some of the studies I’ve read, "your biological clock doesn’t know it’s the weekend"!

Say you usually have breakfast at 6 AM but then on weekends, you have it at 10 AM.  This is where your body will get confused.  It does not know the difference and when you eat at that a later time, you are changing your circadian clock. This in turn has been proven to raise cortisol, a hormone that can spike insulin and cause weight gain!  With this in mind, it is instead better that you have meals consistently, the same time you always do, within in an hour of your normal waking up.

The American Heart Association notes that binge sleeping doesn’t work.  In fact, a 2017 study found that women who spent two or more hours catching up on sleep over the weekend were more likely to have worse cardiovascular health.  Staying in bed longer on the weekends does not counteract your sleep loss.

A 2017 study warned the the lack of sleep throughout the week was associated with a depressed mood, poorer health and an 11% increase in the risk of heart disease.  People who slept just five hours a night and snacked more at night, saw an increase in gained weight.  The cause was from an insulin sensitivity decrease.  For the people who got more sleep on the weekends everything seemed fine and they felt better.  As for when it came to them going back to their regular work week schedule, they in turn felt worse.  Turns out, sleeping in on the weekends sabotaged their bodies.  The result being, the back and fourth times changed the times they were eating.  Yet again, this was caused from a fluctuation in circadian rhythm.

The healthiest way to counteract these negative effects is to wake up at the same time every day.  Should you find yourself lacking on quality Z’s, it is recommended you take short naps instead of sleeping in.  So the next time you feel like pulling the covers back over head on the weekends, keep that alarm clock on, wake up at the same time you did all week and take a quick 40 min nap during the day instead.


Phelan Barrios