What Your Brain Craves on the Weekend

Relaxation

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Weekend sleepyheads, rejoice! When you turn off the alarm on the weekend, you’re actually doing something very healthy for your brain.

Scientists have discovered that getting a little extra sleep on the weekend provides an essential boost to brain power for the coming week. It makes sense, if you think about it. Getting plenty of rest restores your body and mind from the week you just had – PLUS it does more: It rejuvenates you for the upcoming week, allowing you to outwit, out perform, and outlast everyone around you!

The study shows that even just sleeping in late for one of the weekend days is enough to replenish the brain and boost energy, alertness and attention span. However, if you’re one of those people who actually put in more than 40 hours of work each week, you need to catch up with more sleep on the weekend.

You’ve just received permission to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday!

Dr David Dinges, chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, who led the study, said: “The additional hour or two of sleep in the morning after a period of chronic partial sleep loss has genuine benefits for continued recovery of behavioural alertness. The bottom line is that adequate recovery is important for coping with the effects of chronic sleep restriction on the brain.”

The study was published in the latest issue of the journal Sleep. It comes after a separate study published in the same journal found that the optimum amount of sleep is seven hours per night.

The findings contradict the received wisdom that eight hours’ sleep provide the best start to the day.

The study of more than 30,000 adults found that cardiovascular disease – which includes heart attacks, strokes and angina attacks – is twice as high among those sleeping less than five hours a day, compared with those getting seven hours.

Those who slept nine hours or more also had a markedly increased risk.

Something else to keep in mind when it comes to optimum mental and emotional health: When you have recently gone through a stressful event (the loss of a loved one, an illness, relationship trouble, extra stress at work, etc…) – you actually need more sleep. Unfortunately people often skimp on sleep during stressful times in their lives. Big mistake!

When we suffer stress, we need to give our bodies and minds time to heal. Sleep will bring this healing about like nothing else. It’ll also give us the rejuvenation we need to face the world with our A game in check.

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