Sleep for the weekend can not restore the damage from a week of sleepless nights, according to the University of Colorado Boulder study published in the journal Current Biology.
In fact, in some health measures, trying to get trapped for a few days and then returning to bad sleep habits makes things worse.
The senior study author, Kenneth Wright, said: "Our findings show that the usual behavior of candle burning during the week and the effort to offset this weekend is not an effective health strategy."
Previous studies have shown that inadequate sleep can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, partly increasing the need for snacks in the evening and reducing insulin sensitivity or blood sugar regulation. Some adverse health effects kick out after a night of sleeping.
Sleep for the weekend may help the body recover gently during these two days, according to studies. But the results do not last. Wright and lead author Chris Depner, assistant professor of Integrative Physiology, wanted to determine what happens when people move between a week of working deprived of sleep and a few days of conception.
36 healthy adults aged 18 to 39 were involved to stay for two weeks in a laboratory where food intake, exposure to light and sleep was monitored.
After the benchmark test, the volunteers were divided into groups. Someone had enough time to sleep – 9 hours each night for 9 nights. The second was allowed 5 hours at night during the same period. The third one slept not more than 5 hours in the evening for 5 days followed by a weekend when they could sleep as much as they liked before returning to 2 days of limited sleep.
Both sleep-limiting groups ate more at night, gained weight, and experienced reductions in insulin sensitivity during the study period. While the members of the weekend recovery group saw slight improvements (including reduced nighttime snacks) during the weekend, these benefits were eliminated when the sleeping week worked.
In some measures, the weekend recovery team showed worse results. For example, in the group that had restrained their sleep throughout the year, insulin sensitivity for the whole body was reduced by 13%. In the weekend recovery group it deteriorated by 9 to 27 percent, with the sensitivity to the muscles and the liver score worse than the other groups.
Even when the opportunity was given, people found it difficult to recover the lost sleep. While gaining ground on Friday and Saturday, their body clocks shifted later on Sunday night, making it difficult to sleep, although they had to get up early on Monday.
In the end, the recovery team fell by an average of 66 minutes more sleep. Men lost sleep more than women. Wright says it is possible that weekend recovery sleep can be an effective health counter for people who suffer from a little sleep a night or two a week. They hope to investigate it in future studies.