We slog during weekdays and hibernate during weekends to revitalize ourselves. But, this is not going to benefit our health anymore, according to a new study.
According to this study, individuals who catch up on 2-3 hours of lost sleep over the weekend are more likely to have poor cardiovascular health. Called as ‘sleep debt’, people who indulge in such sleeping patterns are not nullifying the effects of lost sleep in any positive way. Although income, education and overall stress contribute to sleep debt, women are the worst affected in this process. This news is shocking and of grave concern here because women live longer than men in any given country and report more sleep issues than men. Such decreased sleeping hours, sleep apnea and insomnia can result in obesity, stroke, high BP, Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Every human should sleep for at least seven hours a day, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Previous studies focused on the required hours of sleep rather than sleep debt! But the main focus of this study is to look into the hours of lost sleep and the importance of maintaining a regular sleep pattern on all days of the week, be it a weekday or a weekend.
Sleep Debt & Cardiovascular Health
A sleep-deprived person suffers from altered levels of stress hormone called ‘cortisol’, inflammation and ‘fight or flight’ hormones that can lead to weight gain and increase in blood pressure which immediately increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Variating sleep patterns can negatively affect circadian rhythms, affect the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and other factors that greatly impact well-being and longevity.
Some people are like the sun sign ‘Gemini’- they have a dual behavior. They follow a sedentary lifestyle through the weekdays and hit the gym to workout vigorously during the weekends. Such people are generally termed to be ‘weekend warriors’ and these people don’t reap any benefits. Any healthy behavior, such as eating nutritious foods, doing physical activity or sleeping well, should be followed all through the week to enjoy the positive results. To tune yourself to such active lifestyles, get the help of a nutritionist/dietitian at www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.