Is Sleeping In on the Weekend OK? A Sleep Expert Weighs In

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)

After a long, tiring week, the only thing you want to do on Saturday is sleep in as late as possible before rolling out of bed for a boozy brunch. However, you might want to reconsider the seemingly harmless (and well-deserved) treat of sleeping in. According to the Sleep Foundation, the recommended sleep range for adults (age 18 to 64) is seven to nine hours per night. Even though it’s tempting to make up lost time by sleeping in on the weekend, we recently learned that switching up your schedule could actually hurt your snooze quality during the week. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Why do I need a consistent sleep schedule?

It can be tough to set a sleep routine and stick with it, but it’s super important. And according to sleep scientist Matthew Walker, sleeping until noon on the weekends won't actually make up for a week of bad nights. “Sleep is not like the bank, so you can’t accumulate a debt and then try and pay it off at a later point in time,” he told NPR. “So the brain has no capacity to get back that lost sleep that you’ve been lumbering it with during the week in terms of a debt.” This means that sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t reset your internal clock. Instead, all it does is hinder your sleep cycle during the week, which benefits from regularity. 

2. Why should I avoid the snooze button?

On the subject of bad sleep habits we’re totally guilty of, you should also try to reform your snooze button use. Sure, it’ll take some getting used to, but training yourself to actually get up when your alarm goes off is so worth it. Why? Every time you hit snooze and drift back to sleep, you start a new sleep cycle that will be interrupted in a few minutes anyway. Since that cycle will end before it’s truly finished, chances are you’ll feel even more tired when you wake up for good. 

Bottom line: Getting extra sleep on the weekend won’t cause any serious harm. However, creating healthy sleep habits is absolutely worth it in the long run. Trust us.

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