A lie-in at the weekend could reduce your risk of depression, says study

Don’t feel too bad if you’re the type to still be in bed past 11am on a Saturday.

Yes, those up-at-6am types might look smug with their Instagram stories of sunrise yoga and morning museum trips, but it turns out that getting some extra rest at the weekend could be good for your mental wellbeing.

Having a lie-in could halve your risk of getting depression, suggests research from Yonsei University.

But be warned – this benefits only apply if you sleep for an extra two hours. Any more than that and you actually increase your risk.

Doctors at the South Korean university tracked 5,500 people who said they often missed out on a full night’s sleep during the working week.

They found that those who caught up on snoozing by having a lie in of an extra two hours at the weekend were 48% less likely to develop depression.

Those who had a one-hour lie-in reduced their risk of low mood by a third.

But for people who slept for longer than two hours extra on Saturday and Sunday, depression rates were 16% higher.

These findings are backed up by a 2018 study from Sweden, which suggested that if you could bring up your average duration of sleep by staying in bed later at the weekends, you could be be in better health.

What’s even better than a lie-in at the weekend, though, is not needing one.

If you can increase the duration and quality of your sleep during the week, thus upping your overall average and reducing the need to ‘catch up’ at the weekend, that’s likely to promise even more positive effects for your mental and physical wellbeing.

It’s still recommended that you get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night – so make that your aim rather than pretending a lie-in erases all the damage from late nights every other day.

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