by Burke Speaker | August 26, 2013 10:17 am
A new study shows that catching up on extra sleep on the weekends may not be having the health benefits that are usually assumed — and in fact could be having the opposite effect.
The study by Penn State Hershey Medical Center showed that getting just six hours of sleep for six consecutive nights, then sleeping for 10 hours three nights in a row, did not help subjects’ problem-solving skills, reaction times and motor skills return to normal.
The extra weekend sleep did allow the subjects to feel more rested — and their hormone levels returned to normal, akin to getting eight hours of sleep four nights in a row.
However, according to study co-author Alexandros N. Vgontzas, longer weekend sleep could cause health issues over time.
The study points out that “The long-term effects of a repeated sleep restriction/sleep recovery weekly cycle in humans remain unknown.”
While mattress companies like Sealy (TPX) and studies on sites like WebMD (WBMD) often point to the quality of mattresses as a culprit, researchers have suggested that on what you sleep is not the main concern.
New studies lay the blame on people who don’t sleep enough and the numerous sleep disorders people have.
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