Can You Really Catch Up On Sleep?

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Sleeping in on the weekends may feel luxurious, but it's not actually doing your brain any favors, a small new study suggests.

Researchers from Penn State, the University of Crete, the University of Athens and the New York School of Medicine found that after a workweek of little sleep, sleeping in on the weekends doesn't seem to improve the performance of your brain. The findings were first reported by Runner's World.

"The usual practice of extending sleep during the weekend is not adequate in reversing the cumulative effects on cognitive function resulting from mild sleep deprivation," Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas, M.D., director of the Sleep Research and Treatment Center at Penn State, told Runner's World.

The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology- Endocrinology and Metabolism, involved 30 healthy men and women (average age of 24), who spent 13 nights in a sleep lab. They spent four nights getting a regular night's sleep of eight hours, then spent the next six nights only having six hours of sleep a night. Then, they had the next three nights to over-sleep, getting 10 hours of sleep a night (similar to getting to sleep late over a weekend).

During this time, the researchers were also keeping tabs on the study participants' levels of inflammatory and stress hormones, as well as their sleepiness levels during the day. They also took tests to gauge brain function.

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SOURCE: The Huffington Post

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