New research attempts to take one more thing away from us that feels good. According to the latest edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a number of new studies are linking heart disease and diabetes to lifestyle patterns of shift workers who try to catch up on their sleep.
Simply put, The New York Times reports, "Sleeping later on weekends may be bad for you."
The studies followed hundreds of men and women who slept later on their days off, and researchers said they found the "mismatch" in sleep timing had a greater metabolic risk. Researchers are careful to note, however, that two other factors—depression and low socioeconomic status—are strongly associated with oversleeping.
"We think of this as people having to sleep and wake out-of-sync with their internal clock, and that having to be out-of-sync may be having these health effects," lead author Patricia Wong told The Times. "
The conclusion is rather sobering: "Our findings suggest that a misalignment of sleep timing is associated with metabolic risk factors that predispose to diabetes and atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease."
In 2012, the BBC reported on what it called "the myth of the eight-hour sleep," pointing to the late 17th century, when people did not sleep in one long uninterrupted stretch, but preferred to sleep in two sleep segments. Nighttime became fashionable soon after Europe began lighting up its major cities in the 1680s, leading many to say that "spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time."