Weekend oversleeping may be bad for your health

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

According to a new study, sleeping late on weekends can be bad for health as it disrupts the regular sleeping patterns of a person, UPI reports.

The study suggests that disruptions to regular sleeping patterns can increase the risk for developing metabolic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

"This is the first study to extend upon that work and show that even among healthy, working adults who experience a less extreme range of mismatches in their sleep schedule, social jetlag can contribute to metabolic problems," said Patricia Wong, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, in a press release.

"These metabolic changes can contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease."

Earlier studies have revealed that irregular work hours have a detrimental effect on health. However, the new research suggests that even getting up late on weekends could be bad for health.

"It's not clear yet that this is a long-term effect," said the lead author, Patricia M. Wong, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, according to New York Times.

"But we think of this as people having to sleep and work out of sync with their internal clock, and that having to be out of sync may be having these health effects."

For the study, the researchers studied 447 healthy people between the ages of 30 and 54, of whom 53 percent were women and 83 percent were white. All the participants worked part- or full-time day shifts outside the home for at least 25 hours per week.

The study found that people with larger differences in their sleep schedules from workdays to free days had worse cholesterol profiles, higher fasting insulin levels, higher BMI and were more resistant to insulin than people with more steady sleep schedules throughout the week.

"There could be benefits to clinical interventions focused on circadian disturbances, workplace education to help employees and their families make informed decisions about structuring their schedules, and policies to encourage employers to consider these issues," Wong said.

Wong said further research in the area would be required to establish that changes to sleep habits could help people lead healthier lives.

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