Is Sleeping In Bad for Health?

You just landed in bed. You don’t have to work tomorrow! You smile as you reach over and turn off the alarm.

But… is that blissful action really a good idea? Alas, sleeping in might not be good for you.

Studies have shown that shift work can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Now a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows there is a similar risk for people who change their sleeping schedules on the weekends.

During the study, sleeping habits of hundreds of adult men and women were tracked. Almost 85 percent went to sleep and woke up later on their days off than on workdays.

The researchers found the greater the difference between workday and day-off sleep schedules, the greater the metabolic risk. To ensure results accuracy, the researchers accounted for variables such as physical activity, calories eaten and alcohol use.

What Happens When You Sleep In?

Sleeping in on days off was linked to lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, higher triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood), higher insulin resistance (this can lead to diabetes) and higher body mass index (BMI).

The researchers found the change of sleep schedules was associated with risk factors that are conducive to diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease — plaque build up in your arteries, which can lead to heart attack, stroke or worse.

The research points to an association between sleep scheduling and metabolic risk. You should ask your health care provider about your health risks and ways you can make sure you’re sleep helps you live well.

Learn more about atherosclerosis and how you can sleep better.

Meet the Author

Natalya Puckett, MD is a family medicine physician at Lakeshore Medical Clinic in St. Francis, WI.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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