Friday Nights Are For Catching Up On Sleep, Survey Shows

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Don't feel guilty if, on a Friday night, you'd rather get a nice night's rest than go out on the town.

The Daily Mail reports on a British survey of 2,000 people, conducted by the bed company Dreams, finding that, on average, people get as much as nine hours of sleep on Friday nights, with 27 percent of people reporting that their rest feels good because they know they don't have to wake up early on Saturday.

The survey also showed that one-fifth of the survey respondents said they didn't plan things for Friday night so that they could just relax, the Daily Mail reported.

"Our survey shows workers experience relief that their week is over and the weekend is about to begin," Nick Worthington, of Dreams, told The Irish Sun. "On a Friday night the only thing most people have to worry about is how they are going to spend their days off."

The Irish Sun also reported that Sunday was the worst night for sleep, with survey respondents reporting that they wake up three times a night, on average.

[For more on the sleep study, read the Daily Mail's piece here.]

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep per night, while teens need eight-and-a-half to nine hours of sleep, and kids need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night.

However, a study conducted over 2005 to 2007 found that almost 30 percent of adults get six or fewer hours of sleep a night, on average. And a 2009 study concluded that just 31 percent of high-schoolers got 8 hours of sleep or more on a school night, the CDC reported.

In 2007, a study of 47,731 Americans was published in the journal SLEEP, showing that workaholics tended to make room in their schedules for their leisure activities by sacrificing their sleep time (either going to bed later, or waking up at an earlier time), USA Today reported.

But while it feels nice to catch up on lost Zzzs over the weekend, sleeping too much on your days off isn't a long-term solution. In fact, sleep experts say that it doesn't necessarily help our cognitive functioning when we try to make up for the sleep debt accumulated over the week.

Sleep doctor Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., told Psychology Today about several studies illustrating this, including a 2008 study from the Karolinska Institute where people slept just four hours per night over a five-day period. This was followed by getting a full eight hours rest per night the following week. But the researchers found that even though the study participants didn't feel sleepy after getting their full rest, they did have decreased cognitive functioning, Breus told Psychology Today.

However, Breus did add that it does seem that you can prepare for a night of diminished sleep by sleeping extra beforehand. "In other words, if you know you have a week of little sleep ahead of you, try loading up on sleep beforehand, not simply afterward," Breus told Psychology Today. "However it should be noted that you are likely only paying off a bit of sleep debt, to bring your reserves back to normal, before depleting them again."

We want to know -- what weekend night do you get the most sleep? And would you rather catch up on sleep over the weekend, or pack in leisure activities? Tell us why in the comments!

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