‘Catch up’ on sleep to improve your fitness

A few mornings ago, I was training a client and it was raining uncontrollably. Naturally, I asked about her sleeping patterns and she revealed that due to commitments in her job, reopening school and being a single parent, she sometimes can’t get enough rest during the week, but tries to make up for it at weekends. That raises the question of whether sleeping in at weekends can help you make up for poor weekday sleep.

Sleep and gain weight

No sleep, no gym gains, or losses if we talk about fat loss.

A recent meta-study (study of studies) concluded that most people need 7 to 8 hours a night and almost everyone who sleeps 5 hours or less at night wakes up with health issues various.

But what about the total weekly sleep? Can you make up for the loss of hours by sleeping in at weekends? Get what the researchers call a “catch up” sleep?

A new study looked at this. They wanted to know if there was a relationship between BMI (body mass index, which is a little raw, but works fine for non-athletes) and the amount of weekend catch-up sleep. Lack of sleep is associated with fat gain. But if subjects slept in at the weekend, would they be slim?

The study

You have an inadequate sleep mess by increasing the risk of obesity and putting your metabolic system out of balance through increases in ghrelin and decreases in leptin levels. This leads to increased appetite and caloric intake along with poor glucose consumption. This is not good.

In this new study, the researchers enrolled 2,836 subjects. After analyzing their sleep habits, they divided them into weekend sleep-up (CUS) or non-CUS groups.

The results

The group that collapsed at the weekend had a predicted BMI that was significantly lower than the non-CUS group. Sleepers slept less during the week but received more sleep throughout the week by sleeping in at weekends.

What does this mean to you

The researchers concluded: “Compensatory sleep extension at weekends may have a protective role against weight gain due to partial chronic sleep loss.”

So try to get the right amount of sleep as much as you can, but if you don’t get enough sleep during the week, sleep in at the weekend to add up your weekly hours and reduce the risk of earning fat.