A study suggests that using the weekend to catch up on sleep may not be good for heart health, reports American Heart Association News.
Sleep expert Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., said the findings suggest people who catch up on sleep over the weekend aren’t counteracting the harmful effects of not getting enough sleep the rest of the week.
“You’re not really salvaging yourself,” said St-Onge, an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University Department of Medicine in New York City, who was not part of the new study.
It’s best to get at least seven hours of sleep each night and to go to bed and wake at about the same time every day, she said.
Even after researchers accounted for factors such as income, education and overall stress, women with sleep debt were still worse off.
The news is especially troubling because women are living longer and report more sleep issues than men, said Michelle Albert, M.D., the study’s senior researcher and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Women in the study were 72 years old on average.