"In conclusion, short, but not long, weekend sleep was associated with an increased mortality".
The study looked at 43,880 people in Sweden, asking them about their sleep habits and following up 13 years later.
"Possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep", researchers said.
Torbjörn Åkerstedt, a professor and director of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University told CNN he was quite surprised by the findings on sleep during off days. "Among individuals ≥65 years old, no association between weekend sleep or weekday/weekend sleep durations and mortality was observed".
However, the effect of short sleeps over a few days may be countered by a later lie-in.
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However, the Catholic Church's influence has waned in recent years following a series of child sex abuse scandals. Since then, roughly 170,000 Irish women have traveled to other countries to have pregnancies terminated.
The study revealed that participants who were suffering from a lack of sleep had five times more attention lapses and their reaction time was doubled during tests. A survey of their sleep habits over that time found that people under 65 who slept less than five hours every night had a mortality rate 65 percent higher than people sleeping at least six hours a night.
"It fits with what we do know about sleep - that sleep is regulated by the body clock but also regulated by what is called a homeostatic process, which means the longer you are awake the more you need to sleep". He was not involved in the new study. However, individuals who slept for fewer than the recommended 7 hours per night on weekdays, but slept for an extra hour or two on weekends, lived just as long as folks who sleep 7 hours a night the whole week.
Self-reporting may be considered a limitation of the study, but researchers note it's a practical way to accumulate large-scale data.