We miss the days when having a lie-in was a given. Oh to be a college student again!
Every so often we get to revel in the fact that our schedule is clear, we have no responsibilities and an extended morning slumber is no longer a dream, but a rare reality.
It’s safe to say we were delighted to learn that a study suggests our beloved weekend lie-ins could make us smarter and slimmer.
A study published in the journal Sleep examined the sleeping habits and BMI’s (Body Mass Index) of 2,156 adults aged 18 to 92. They found that those who missed out on sleep during the week (that’d be us then) but made up for it at the weekend had lower BMI than those who didn’t have a weekend lie-in.
On average participants slept for 7.3. hours per night, according to Reuters Health. 43 percent reported sleeping longer on weekends by approximately two hours. This group had an average BMI of 22.8.
Those who did not lie in had an average BMI of 23.1, a small but statistically significant difference. Each additional hour of catch-up sleep was linked to a 0.12 decrease in BMI.
According to the researchers, “Weekend sleep extension may have biological protective effects in preventing sleep-restriction induced or related obesity.”
Or in simpler terms, that extra few hours’ sleep at the weekend could do your waistline the world of good – who knew?!
As we all know, it’s tempting to reach for sugary and fatty foods to get us through the day when we’re tired so it makes sense that being well-rested could help us stay in shape.
But there’s more good news. Apparently, that weekend lie-in could also help our brain power.
We’ve all experienced those “brain fog” moments when we feel so exhausted that we can’t think straight, forget things and become easily confused.
Apparently, having a lie-in can allow the brain to process information it previously couldn’t and retrieve information you couldn’t recall or were oblivious to while in a state of sleep-deprivation.
A lie-in also appears to be a better option than grabbing a nap later in the day as a nap doesn’t allow you to fall into deep sleep, researchers say.
Naturally, it’s always best to get a good night’s sleep every night if possible but we all know family life doesn’t always work out that way.
So, the next time you have a chance to sleep in at the weekend, go for it. Your brain and body will thank you for it!