If you’ve ever slept in till noon at the weekend and felt guilty that you’d wasted the morning in bed, stop. A weekend lie in could actually be good for your brain and waist line. A recent study, published in the journal Sleep found that catching up on your z’s helps increase intelligence and decrease body fat.
The study compared the BMIs and sleep habits of 2,156 adults and found that those who slept too little during the week, but caught up on the weekend, had slightly lower BMIs than those who didn’t.
“Weekend sleep extension may have biological protective effects in preventing sleep-restriction induced or related obesity,” the authors concluded.
When we’re tired, we’re more inclined to reach for unhealthy, carby foods. Therefore, it’s no surprise that being well rested will help us avoid a quick sugar rush and instead, opt for healthy foods that actually help us stay awake for longer.
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The study also found that sleeping in can make us smarter. A lack of sleep can have disastrous effects on our health and our brain power as it becomes sluggish and our memories can worsen.
When we allow ourselves a few extra hours rest, our brain begins to work through information it couldn’t previously process and helps to retain that information by ‘filing’ it away.
However, with this is mind, keeping your sleeping schedule consistent throughout the week is the most effective way of ensuring your health is intact. Huge variations on your sleep pattern can throw off your hormones and circadian rhythm and have negative health effects. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least seven hours a night.
Try to sustain your sleep pattern, but if the hours have run away from you during the week, now you know that a Sunday morning lie in is actually helping you out.
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