Researchers in Europe and the United States studied the effects of both weekday and weekend sleep durations on mortality in Sweden, reports Medical News Bulletin.

We live in a sleep-deprived society, which is a serious issue, as inadequate sleep has been linked to increased mortality. Many people thus sleep in, or catch up on sleep, during the weekend. But does this compensating behaviour actually help? Can sleeping in on weekends make up for not sleeping enough during weekdays, and hence reduce mortality rates?

With this question in mind, researchers in Europe and the United States examined sleep duration data from a group of people in Sweden over 13 years, broken down by both weekend and weekday sleep.  Indeed, the majority of sleep studies do not distinguish between weekend and weekday sleep but focus on average or “usual” sleep durations during the entire week. They published their results in the Journal of Sleep Research.