Restful sleep on weekends could increase waistline, study finds


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By Shamard Charles, M.D.

A new study reveals that restful sleep on weekends puts people at risk of gaining weight.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, showed that people who did not sleep enough during the week but who had overtime on weekends tended to snack more and were at increased risk of diabetes.

"Our findings suggest that the usual behavior of burning the candle during the week and attempting to compensate for it over the weekend is not an effective health strategy," said the paper's lead author, Kenneth. Wright, director of the Sleep and Chronobiology Lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The researchers examined the sleep patterns of 36 healthy adults aged 18 to 39 for 10 days in a laboratory. They were divided into three groups: those who slept nine hours a night for nine consecutive days, those whose sleep was limited to five hours a night for nine nights, and those who slept a maximum of five hours a night for five days followed by a weekend where they could sleep as much as they wished, before going back to sleep for two days.

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