World Sleep Day: Sleeping through the weekend won’t make up for lost sleep during the week


  • Even if you sleep during weekends and your sleeping pattern on weekdays continue to have a few hours, you will still have serious health consequences.
  • Those who slept well on weekends lose all the gains as soon as they get back to their normal schedule.
  • Separately, a new Zealand firm has found a new way of reducing stress in employees that requires them to work only four days a week and a paid holiday.
Sleeping for more hours on weekends doesn’t make a difference at all and it is not going to help you to get away from the negative effects of staying awake on the weekdays, claims a recent scientific study.

According to the study, even if you sleep during weekends and your sleeping pattern on weekdays continue to have few hours, you will still have serious health consequences. Apart from gaining weight, you may develop a strange habit of eating after dinner.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, segregated 36 participants to three groups who were asked to follow different sleeping patterns over the next 10 days. The first group was allowed to sleep for nine hours each night. The second group was asked to sleep for five hours all throughout the study whereas the last group had to sleep for five hours for Monday to Friday and had leverage of sleeping without restriction on weekends.

Both the groups which were asked to sleep for five hours tend to eat more and gain weight, says the study. Men showed a 2.8% increase in their weight in comparison to women who witnessed only 1.1% of weight gain.

Those who slept well on weekends lose all the gains as soon as they get back to their normal schedule. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of metabolic disease in the long term.

“In our study, individuals with more irregular sleep and wake times tended to be less physically active, more stressed, and more depressed — all of which could contribute to poorer hearth and metabolic health,” reported Inverse citing study Co-author, Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

Does this mean we need a long weekend?

Working on Mondays can be stressful especially when there are still four more days left until the next weekend. But a New Zealand firm — that was experimenting four days work week — found that there is a 20% increase in productivity along with higher profits and better staff behavior.

Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand financial services company, asked its 240 employees to work four days a week instead of five days from last November without any change in their employment condition or remuneration — so, the staff was asked to work for 30 hours a week instead of 37.5 hours and give the same output. The trial was then monitored by University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology.

There results after eight week shows that there’s a room for improvement in productivity. According to the results of the trial, there’s no fall in output, productivity is increased and there’s a better work-life balance.

The analysis — by comparing 2017 survey and the results of the trial— suggested that there was an increase in work-life balance from 54% in 2017 to 78% in 2018 following the trial. Moreover, the stress level dropped from 45% to 38%.

The decision to test the new way of working was “the right thing to do. We want people to be the best they can be while they’re in the office, but also at home. It’s the natural solution.”said Andrew Barnes, Perpetual Guardian’s founder and chief executive.

See also:
I limited myself to seeing friends 2 times a week, and it had a surprising effect on me
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