There’s nothing better than a Sunday morning lie-in. A UK survey in 2013 revealed that the average wake-up time for adults was between 6AM and 8AM, with 67% of the population rising during this period. So it comes as no surprise that we want to stay in bed a little longer when the weekend rolls round.
Many of us cherish our weekend lie-ins as a way to ‘catch up’ on sleep after a long week of early morning school runs, work commutes and gym sessions. While it’s technically impossible to catch up on lost sleep, the humble lie-in is still a joy for most, and is often considered a guilty pleasure.
But should you feel sheepish for staying snug for longer? It turns out, lie-ins could actually be beneficial for your health. Read on to find out why.
Lie-Ins Allow You To Wake Up Naturally
Most humans require up to 7 hours of sleep on average to feel fully rested and function effectively the next day. However, if you are the type to only wake on a weekday to the screech of an alarm clock, then you may not be getting the sleep your body needs.
Whether you went to bed a little too late the night before, or find it tough to get up in general, an extra hour or two in bed allows us wake up naturally in line with our body’s daily ‘circadian’ rhythms. Circadian rhythms respond to daylight, which means that our sleep patterns are often altered by external factors such as artificial light, seasonal changes in the hours of daylight and our generally busy lives. As a result, we often find that we aren’t getting as much asleep as our bodies actually need.
You can now feel less guilty about hitting snooze on those dark and cold winter mornings.
You Might Live Longer
Recent studies have suggested that too much sleep is bad for your health and can shorten your life, yet some scientists argue that the occasional lie-in can actually positively impact your mortality rate.
A 1997 study carried out in Sweden by the Journal Of Sleep Research found that people under the age of 65 who only managed to get five or fewer hours of sleep over a week are at a higher risk of early death than those who get 6-7 hours a day. That means that if you’re not used to getting a full night’s sleep, a lie-in could help you strike the balance of getting a little more shut eye.
You Have More Time To Relax and De-Stress
A lie-in doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sleep the whole time. What better way to ease yourself into the weekend than by unwinding in bed with the morning paper, a cup of coffee or a good book?
Not only will it allow you to wind down after a busy week, but you can also cuddle up with your partner for a chat or watch Netflix in bed to help set the pace for a laid-back weekend doing what you enjoy. Using your lie-in as your all-important ‘me-time’ will ultimately help reduce your stress and anxiety levels after a hectic week and prepare you for the Monday ahead.
They Boost Your Brain Power
According to scientists, an extra dose of sleep at the weekend is essential to helping replenish your brain and boost your energy levels ahead of the coming week. The study, which was carried out by the University of Pennsylvania, found that those who enjoyed a long lie-in before returning to work on a Monday performed better than those who spent less time in bed.
The lie-in supposedly affected the amount of energy and alertness in the participants who took part. As a good night’s sleep is heavily linked to productivity, creativity and cognitive ability, it makes sense that well-rested folks are sharper after a lie-in.
So next time you feel like having an extra 10 minutes of snoozing before the kids get up or decide to snuggle up in your duvet on a Saturday morning, feel safe in the knowledge that a lie-in is more than just a guilty pleasure.