Can You Catch Up On Sleep?

By on June 22, 2013

Forget getting up in time for morning mimosas: the weekend is for sleeping.  And though your no-alarm approach to the weekend might feel lazy, it’s actually  great for your health, shows new research from the Los Angeles Biomedical  Research Institute (LA BioMed).

Researchers found that those who are chronically short of sleep can lower  their risk of type 2 diabetes just by catching more zzz’s. They studied 19 men  who routinely got about 6 hours of sleep a night during weekdays and a bit more  on the weekends, and brought them to a sleep lab for two weekends. When men got  10 hours of sleep three nights in a row, their insulin sensitivity—a risk factor  for diabetes—greatly improved.

“The misconception is that sleep deprivation is not very harmful to you,”  said Peter Liu, MD, PhD, principal investigator at LA BioMed at Harbor-UCLA  Medical Center. “But this study shows that not having enough sleep causes  metabolic problems that can lead to obesity and diabetes.” (That’s not all: skimping on sleep can trigger everything from stress hormones to  junk food cravings.)

We’re not even talking massive sleep restriction here—to some of us, a whole  six hours sounds downright indulgent. But in the REM-cycle of life, every hour  counts, so get snoozing, said Dr. Liu: “In individuals who are chronically sleep  deprived, if they can extend their sleep, that’s healthy for

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