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Torbjörn Åkerstedt, first author of the study, at the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, said: "Sleep duration is important for longevity". According to a study by Swedish and US researchers, people under the age of 65 who get less than five hours sleep on the weekend had an increased risk of death.

According to Bustle: "The researchers divided the people into several groups: Short sleepers, who tended to sleep for fewer than five hours per night; medium sleepers, who slept around seven hours per night; and long sleepers, who slept for nine hours or more per night". But individuals who balanced their short weekday sleep with longer weekend sleep did not appear to have any increased mortality risk.

Interestingly, study participants who consistently got more than eight hours of sleep a night were found to have a 25% higher mortality rate.

Do you sleep in on the weekends like your life depends on it? A new study suggests that sleeping in on your days off can offset a lack of sleep during the work week.

Researchers examined the data gathered from over 43,000 Swedish residents who have been followed over a period of 13 years.

For those who only manage to get less than five hours of shut eye throughout the week, but then have a longer snooze on the weekends, there was no heightened mortality risk.

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While the study didn't investigate the direct link between sleep patterns and mortality rates, getting little sleep was suggested to have an overall negative effect on the body.

Since the longer you are awake, the more sleep you need-your "sleep debt" needs to be "paid off."
That was true only for those under 65; the mortality difference disappeared for people who were older. But channeling your inner cat and sleeping too much can be just as bad for your health, studies have found.

"It fits with what we do know about sleep", he said.

Average sleep duration at weekends and the percentage of those saying they did not feel rested at waking, did fall with age. Getting to bed to ensure eight hours of sleep is a daily battle, but it's nothing compared with getting up in the morning to make it to work on time.

"The assumption in this is that weekend sleep is a catch-up sleep", said Åkerstedt, though he noted the study did not prove that to be the case.

So forget "sleep when you're dead" - it might be more like "don't sleep, and you will be dead".


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