Sleeping in on Weekends May Reduce Diabetes Risk Linked with Loss of Sleep

It’s well known that not getting an adequate amount of sleep can be detrimental to your health. Sleeping four to five hours per night “can increase the risk of developing diabetes by about 16 percent – comparable to the increase in risk caused by obesity.”1 However, the University of Chicago Medical Center’s recent study, titled “Weekend catch-up sleep can reduce diabetes risk associated with sleep loss”, determined that the negative effects of sleep deprivation during the week can be reversed by sleeping in on weekends.

“Two consecutive nights of extended sleep, a typical weekend occurrence, appears to counteract the increased risk of diabetes associated with short-term sleep restriction during the work week; at least in lean, healthy, young men eating a controlled diet.”2 This is good news for the many busy professionals who can’t seem to find enough time to get a full night’s sleep during the work week.

The study showed that with four consecutive nights of only 4.5 hours of sleep per night, participant’s diabetes risk increased by 16 percent. However, after two nights in a row of extra sleep (averaging 9.7 hours per night) participant’s diabetes risk returned to normal. Keep in mind, the study’s author did note that this was a short term study, which did not observe the effects of long term weekday sleep deprivation.

While your goal should always be to get plenty of sleep, sometimes life happens and it’s just not possible. If you’re feeling sleep deprived after a busy work week, sleep in on the weekend – catching up can help your health!