This week, researchers in Sweden published a very interesting study in The Journal of Sleep Research looking at how sleeping in, on the weekends effects your health. Just to give a little background, we have seen in the sleep research literature for quite some time that there is what we call a U-Shaped curve for sleep duration and mortality. What this means is that too little sleep (less than 5 hours) or too much sleep (more than 10 hours) leads to an increased risk of mortality. Almost all of these studies looked at weekday sleep (not all but many). The Swedish group followed a cohort of almost 44, 000 people for 13 years, and here are a few things that they found:
- For people who were less than 65 years old who slept less than 5 hours during the weekends had a 52% higher mortality rate than the comparison group who was the same age (<65) and sleeping 7 hours.
- NO ASSOCIATION was found for long (greater than 9 hours) weekend sleep when compared to the comparison group (7 hour sleeper), for this aged group.
The researchers stated “The mortality rate among participants with short sleep during weekdays, but long sleep during weekends, did not differ from the rate of the reference group. Among individuals ≥65 years old, no association between weekend sleep or weekday/weekend sleep durations and mortality was observed.”
Here is where I think every new outlet has missed the boat … The comparison group. They slept 7 hours, weekday and weekend, and were completely FINE!!
This only further proves my point that consistent total sleep time (and clock time, remember you want your circadian rhythms to be working well) is the best for your overall health. I was also interested in what happened to sleep in people over age 65, but unfortunately there was no data on that.
The results are clear: If you stay in bed on the weekends for two hours longer than usual, you’re far more likely to be grouchy, fat and sick. If you stay in bed for less than an hour on the weekends, though, you’re statistically safe from suffering the ill effects. With that in mind, here are each chronotype’s recommended workday wake times, from my book The Power of When, plus an extra forty-five minutes.
Dolphins: Non-work mornings until 7:15 am.
Lions: Non-work mornings until 6:45 am.
Bears: Non-work mornings until 8:00 am.
Wolves: Non-working mornings until 8:15 am.
Also in the Snooze News:
A new Recipe called Moon Milk! Of all places BonAppetite did a really nice spread on sleep and one of the things I liked most was this new recipe called moon milk:
- 1 cup whole milk or unsweetened nut milk (such as hemp, almond, or cashew)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground ashwagandha (or another adaptogen, like shatavari or astralagus)
- 2 pinches of ground cardamom
- Pinch of ground ginger (optional)
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon honey, preferably raw
Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger, if using, and nutmeg; season with pepper. Whisk vigorously to incorporate any clumps. Add coconut oil, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until warmed through, 5–10 minutes (the longer you go, the stronger the medicine). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in honey (you want to avoid cooking honey or you’ll destroy its healing goodness). Pour into a mug, drink warm, and climb right into bed.
There are several reasons why this may be helpful:
Nut based milk- is easier to digest, stops hunger issues, and is generally just better for you
Ashwaganda- this is a known relaxer, and something that often helps people to calm down.
Ghee, Coconut Oil or XTC Oil- this is GOOD FAT for your body and brain
Raw Honey– helps keep blood sugar stable throughout the night (but if you have diabetes this is not a good idea to add).
My most popular Facebook post this week was 7 Proven Techniques to Help You Treat Tinnitus and Sleep Better
My most popular Twitter post this week was Don’t Let Jet Lag Ruin Your Vacation
Don’t forget to join me on Facebook for Wake Up Wednesday Live. Check out last weeks here.
That’s all for this Sunday Sleeper, I hope your day is amazing.
Dr. Michael Breus