Many of us don’t get enough sleep. Between squeezing in an early morning gym session and late nights at the office, we often fall short of the recommended eight hours shut-eye every night. We wake up bleary-eyed for work and dream about lie-ins once the weekend rolls around.
But according to new research by the University of Arizona we may need to reconsider our Saturday sleep-ins. Turns out that for every extra hour we snooze outside of our regular sleep schedule, our risk of heart disease increases by 11 per cent.
Social jetlag – the impact of your weekend sleep habits falling out of sync with your body clock – was also linked to poorer health, bad mood and increased fatigue. These effects were independent of how long participants slept or whether they had insomnia.
Translation: it’s irregular sleep patterns rather than a lack of kip that could be impacting your health.
This internal rhythm put in place by our body clocks plays a role in hormone regulation, food absorption and fat accumulation, so it isn’t surprising that throwing it out of whack can have such an impact on our overall health.
The good news? Sticking to a regular sleep schedule is a simple, effective and inexpensive way to keep your health on track. Saturday AM jog, anyone?