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Scientist’s latest research has changed what we thought we knew about lie-ins

Scientist’s latest research has changed what we thought we knew about lie-ins

It turns out lying in isn't lazy - it's actually good for you.

Sleep science is a bit of a changeable beast, it turns out - with a lot of debate raging about what the healthiest possible patterns are.

If you're absolutely exhausted and feel like you're running at a sleep deficit, most people look forward to the weekend as a chance to sleep in and recover a little.

For a while now, though, scientists have been suggesting that this might actually not be the best way forward and that it could be healthier to stick to your normal sleep pattern and recover more gradually.

Well, now research from a Chinese team has up-ended that by looking at sleep data from around 8,000 people to see how a weekend lie-in affected them.

Elena Noviello / Getty
Elena Noviello / Getty

The results were big, too, showing that those who took a lie-in of an hour or two more than usual at the weekend were significantly less likely to suffer from depression than those who didn't.

So, it could be that a weekend lie-in is actually way more than just a little indulgence, and could simply be part of a healthy lifestyle to keep you mentally and physically well.

The researchers said in a statement: "Depression is a prevalent chronic mental disorder that can lead to significant health and societal burdens, often characterised by negative emotions, changes in body weight, cognitive alterations, poor quality of life and a heightened risk of suicide."

While there's always some debate over whether a lack of sleep causes depression, or is itself caused by depression, it's nonetheless clear that a good sleep routine is something that has basically no downsides in daily life.

The researchers said: "Sleep is crucial for the body and brain’s recovery, growth, and memory consolidation, constituting an indispensable part of life. Unfortunately, in today’s society, individuals often struggle to obtain sufficient sleep due to factors related to work, lifestyle, and the environment."

Maria Korneeva / Getty
Maria Korneeva / Getty

So, you can go back to your lie-ins with a clear conscience, and there are some other things to keep in mind where sleep is concerned. Namely, you should indeed be aiming to get at least seven hours of sleep each night if you can, since this is the threshold for a healthy sleep diet.

The more sleep you get, on average, the more energy you'll have during the day and the easier you'll find it to stick to healthy habits around diet and exercise.

In some ways, this is one of those scientific studies that has taken a great deal of effort and painstaking research to confirm something that many of us probably already thought was true in the first place, but it's still great to know that lying in on a Sunday morning isn't lazy - it's actually good for you

Featured Image Credit: Elena Noviello/Loop Images RF/Getty