You are going to hear some bad news: those extra hours of sleep during the weekends are not good for you. By doing so you will give yourself something that is called social jet lag. This can cause health problems.
Circadian rhythms can be found in the animals, plants, some bacteria and fungi and they allow the organism to organize their bio-activity with help of the day and night cycle. This rhythm is build-in, but it is adjusted to the environment with “time givers” including light levels and temperature.
If we change our sleep pattern we will cause disorder with the time givers that is the jet lag. One study tried to examine this phenomenon in a way that is non-invasive and they allowed their subjects to live normally and meanwhile, they monitored their sleeping patterns.
The research included 447 people and their sleeping patterns. They were tracked with sleep monitors that were attached to their wrists and they estimated how much they sleep through their movement. The research estimated their health and they also checked their blood because they wanted to examine their cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The sleep pattern changed during the weekends and that was expected. The researchers discovered an expected correlation among the change in the sleeping pattern and the markers of harmful health effects. If the change during the weekend was more dramatic then the good cholesterol lowered and the fatty substances and the triglycerides increased.
Those who had more dramatic change experienced weight gain and symptoms that are connected with diabetes. This research did not discover the development of heart disease but an implication that all changes that you make on the weekends, by staying up late and sleep later can have negative consequences over your health.
This research had some limits. The researchers didn’t explore if the participants who had a greater jet lag experienced other circadian rhythms that the participant with less jet lag. This leads us to the conclusion that the circadian rhythms of some people were suited to the weekend pattern of sleeping and some were compatible with the weekday sleep pattern.
The Harvard University conducted a more invasive study. The participants were locked in one laboratory and could sleep only 5.6 hours of sleep in a day that was 28 hours long. The study lasted for several weeks. The most harmful effect was that the metabolism of the participants changed and also their ability to change the nutrient in energy.
At first, the participants were healthy and by the end of the research 3 of them showed some signs of prediabetes. Their blood sugar level increased and the others started going towards the same state.
The disruption of sleep can cause heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes. The lat study showed that we sleep longer for weekends we will cause misalignment of the circadian rhythm and our health will be at risk.