Just last month, we had to give you the bad news that sleeping in on the weekends wasn’t very good for your health and was basically the same thing as walking around on Monday morning with a severe case of jet lag. You might still be mad at us for passing along that bit of tragic info. Well, get ready to forgive us, because now, just one tiny month later, sleeping in on weekends is magically good for you again. (You’re welcome.)
It’s not actually magic. It’s science. A new study at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that sleeping late on weekend mornings can possibly reduce your risk for diabetes. This is a really big deal, because it’s long been known that not getting enough sleep is a risk factor for the disease. But now, researchers believe that it’s possible to counteract some of this risk by sleeping in on our days off.
The experiment studied the blood sugar of 19 healthy young men after 4 consecutive nights of sleep deprivation. After getting only 4.5 hours of sleep for 4 nights in a row, the bodies of all of the participants began to produce extra insulin. BUT after these same men slept for 9.7 hours for the following two nights, their insulin levels went back to normal. (High fives all around!)
The study’s lead researcher, Josaine Broussard, says this doesn’t exactly prove that catching up on missed sleep will prevent diabetes or any of the other effects of not getting enough rest, but it’s still very good news. “It gives us some hope that if there is no way to extend sleep during the week, people should try very hard to protect their sleep when they do get an opportunity to sleep in and sleep as much as possible to pay back the sleep debt,” she says. “We don’t know if people can recover if the behavior is repeated every week. It is likely though that if any group of people suffer from sleep loss, getting extra sleep will be beneficial.”
Did you hear that? We’re pretty sure it’s official medical permission to skip setting the alarm this Saturday morning. Getting enough rest is super important, guys. Not only does it help prevent diabetes, but it also boosts your body’s immunity and mental well being, reduces the risk of heart disease, increases your sex drive and fertility and helps you fit into your skinny jeans. So three cheers for sleep, right?
While we should all try to get enough rest during the week, sometimes it’s just not possible. Life happens. We know. But if you find yourself yawning all day on Friday, go ahead and stay in bed on Saturday morning. It’s good for you. Science officially says so!
(Images via NBC, Paramount Pictures / Tumblr)