By Andrea Romano
March 09, 2019
Sleeping in on weekends
Credit: Srdjan Pav/Getty Images

If you’re planning on pressing snooze this weekend, you might want to reconsider.

According to a new study published in Current Biology, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that sleeping in on the weekend could actually have a detrimental effect on your health.

This conflicts with previous studies that suggest sleeping in on the weekend in order to make up for sleep deprivation during the week can actually help you live longer. Some people have even called in their vacation days just to catch up on much-needed sleep.

But researchers Christopher Depner and Kenneth Wright claim that trying to catch up on your sleep debt, and then returning to a sleep-deprived schedule during the week, can hurt your metabolism and negatively affect your health, Science Daily reported.

In the study, participants (listed as healthy young adults) were randomly assigned to three groups. The first group was tasked to sleep a glorious nine hours every night for nine straight nights. The second group was restricted to five hours a night for nine nights. And the third group was told to sleep 5 hours for five days, sleep in as long as they like for two days, and then return to a five hour sleep schedule for another two days.

Researchers found that those who were in the sleep restricted groups were more likely to snack after dinner. As for those two were in the “weekend recovery” group, they were able to sleep longer, but the study showed that their “circadian body clock” was timed later, leading to more late night snacking.

“Our findings show that muscle- and liver-specific insulin sensitivity were worse in subjects who had weekend recovery sleep,” said Depner, according to Science Daily. “This finding was not anticipated and further shows that weekend recovery sleep is not likely [to be] an effective sleep-loss countermeasure regarding metabolic health when sleep loss is chronic.”

Insulin is particularly important for maintaining stable and healthy glucose levels, according to Bustle. Those with lower sensitivity to insulin need larger amounts, which can also lead to heart disease or diabetes.

According to the NHS, the recommended amount of sleep each night for adults is about eight hours. If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, putting a higher priority on sleep every night seem to be better than burning the candle at both ends Monday through Friday.

And, on the bright side, as long as you’re getting good sleep during the week, you can still sleep in on the weekends anyway.