There is good news this week for those who enjoy an extra few hours in bed come Saturday, because new research suggests those weekend lie-ins could help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia, sleeping longer on Saturday and Sunday morning could improve insulin function, making type 2 diabetes less likely.
The scientists monitored 19 healthy men with an average age of 29, each of whom had slept for around six hours on a week night for an average of more than five years. To make up for their weekly lack of sleep, they got an extra two hours or more shut-eye at the weekends.
Researchers tested their blood after both week night and weekend sleeps, and found that insulin worked better after a lie-in.
In type 2 diabetes, which can lead to strokes, heart attacks, kidney disease and other serious health conditions, insulin stops working properly, and it is those with a decreased sensitivity to the hormone that are at greater risk of developing the condition.
The Daily Mail reports that researcher Dr Peter Liu, whose findings were presented at the Endocrine Society's annual conference in San Francisco yesterday, said: "We all know that we need to get adequate sleep but that is often impossible because of work demands and busy lifestyles.
"Our study found that extending the hours of sleep can improve the body's use of insulin, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in adult men. Reducing the incidence of this chronic illness is critical."
Do you struggle to get enough sleep during the week? Is it affecting your health? Leave your comments below...