Monday, November 23, 2015

Feels Good But May Be Unhealthy

I have always been a poor sleeper. Even when I was training very hard. In fact when I pushed myself too hard at training, I usually found it harder to fall asleep. And I could never sleep in. My internal body clock is set such that I could never sleep past 7 am.

Turns out not being able to sleep in may not be such a bad thing after all.

A group of researchers studied 447 men and women between the ages of 34 to 54. They wore devices that tracked movement and also monitored them when they slept and woke.

Nearly 85 percent of the group went to sleep and woke later on their off days compared to during their work days.

The researchers found that the greater the mismatch in sleep timing between their week days and week ends the higher the metabolic risk.

Sleeping late on off days (week ends) was linked to lower HDL (or good) cholesterol, higher triglycerides, higher insulin resistance and a higher body mass index. This is true even after adjusting for physical activity, caloric intake, alcohol intake and other factors.

The researchers are not sure if this is similar in the long term as the subjects were only studied for seven days. Several other studies have shown that there is an association between shift work and in increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, similar to what this study has shown.

Don't stay up too late on your off days.


Wong PM, Hasler BP et al (2015). Social Jetlag, Chrontype And Cardiometabolic Risk. J of Clin Endo and Metabolim. DOI:

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