Health Alert: Weekend Sleep-ins Could Be Detrimental


We do not wish to deprive you of sleep, but weekend slumber parties may be detrimental to your health.

A study discovered that people who drifted off to sleep and rose up 90 minutes later on weekends had gut flora linked to heart attacks, strokes, and obesity. Scientists believe that altering our sleeping patterns disrupts our circadian rhythm, which affects everything from our immune system to our digestion.

The ZOE experiment at King’s College London examined 1,000 generally healthy individuals who slept an average of seven hours per night. Glucose levels were measured, and blood and intestinal samples were analyzed. Those whose sleep patterns changed on weekends ate less produce and consumed more carbonated beverages.

Kate Bermingham of King’s College stated, “Sleep is an essential component of health. Even a 90-minute time difference can promote microbiota species with negative health associations.” Dr. Wendy Hall from King’s College included that significant sleep disruptions, such as shift work, can have a substantial effect on your health. It is the initial research effort to demonstrate that minor variations in sleep timing throughout the week appear to be associated with differences in gut flora species. However, our data suggests that other as-yet-unknown factors may also be implicated.

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Crucial Role of Diet in Shaping Your Gut Microbiome

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The study measured the midpoint of sleep, or the period halfway between sleep and wake-up. The composition of the microorganisms in your gut, known as the microbiome, may impact your health negatively or positively by producing toxins or beneficial metabolites.

It is influenced by the food you eat, making the diversity of your gut flora a significant health factor that individuals can modify. A diet high in sugar and processed foods promotes the overpopulation of bad bacteria, whereas a diet rich in whole vegetables and fruits promotes the growth of ‘good’ bacteria.

Certain species correlate with an individual’s risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Three of the six categories of gut bacteria that were more prevalent in the group that had weekly lie-ins, dubbed social jetlag,’ are known to be associated with poor health.

These microbes are linked to obesity, poor cardiometabolic health, and blood markers associated with increased inflammation and cardiovascular risk. Previous research has demonstrated that working schedules disrupt the circadian rhythm and increase the risk of weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mental fatigue.

 However, there is less awareness of how our biological rhythms can be affected by smaller variations in sleeping patterns as a result of waking early with an alarm clock on workdays as opposed to waking naturally on non-workdays in people who work regular hours.

Dr. Sarah Berry, of King’s College London and chief scientist at ZOE, pointed out that maintaining regular sleep patterns, i.e., when we go to bed and when we wake up each day, is an easily modifiable lifestyle behavior that may have a positive effect on your health through your gut microbiome.

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Source: Mirror News

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