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Weekend sleep routine disruptive report

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Monday 17th September 2012

The common weekend sleep routine of late nights and lie-ins is not the solution to catching up on sleep lost during the working week, and may lead to more sleep problems the following week, according to a newly published report. Dr Gregory Carter from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in a piece appearing in Health News Digest, argues that by altering sleep routines over a weekend the circadian rhythm can be disrupted, leading to ‘sleep debt’.

"A great myth of sleep deprivation is that if we miss sleep over the course of the work week, we need to catch up on an hour-by-hour basis on the weekend," said Dr Carter. “Too many of us, however, stay up later on Friday and Saturday nights and choose to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This pattern - combined with sleep-defeating actions that may include alcohol consumption and late-night checking of e-mails just prior to bedtime - makes for a painful Monday wake-up call," he added.

The importance of having a consistent sleep routine – especially in terms of bedtime and wake-up time - is well-known, as the body responds to the regularity and becomes accustomed to the process. 

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