This Sleep Habit Could Damage Your Health

If you’re feeling exhausted all the time and like you need to catch up on your sleep, it can be tempting to think that a lie-in or two is the answer. But, contrary to what you might think, changing your sleep habits and sleeping in for longer at the weekends is a potential disaster for your body clock.

Although it might seem a good idea to catch up on extra sleep if you’re feeling particularly tired, too much sleep or irregular sleep patterns (even by a few hours) are bad news for your circadian rhythm and can potentially compromise your sleep quality when you then revert back to your usual sleep hours in the working week ahead.

According to a study by Medical Research Council that looked at the height, weight and sleeping habits of 800 people, those who experienced 'social jet lag' caused by a lie-in at the weekend or on days off, were also more at risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Although it’s unclear exactly how, one suggestion is that when the body clock is shifted to accommodate extra sleep hours, our appetite hormones and the genes that process fats and sugars correctly, are also pushed out of sync.

For optimal sleep and to reduce the increased risk of disease, keeping to a regular sleep pattern is crucial. Ensure that you’re being consistent with your sleep schedule and get up and go to bed at the same time each day, whether it’s the weekend or not.

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