It’s long been held that you can’t bank sleep on the weekends—you need to get enough each and every night for optimal health. But there might be one important aspect of health that does benefit from a little more weekend sleep—longevity.

Lack of sleep is hard on your heart and mind. It can make it unsafe to drive or operate other equipment, harder to focus, harder to output coherent work. But making up that extra bit of sleep on weekends could help your body heal and catch up, at least for long term benefits. A recent study found that longevity still benefited when people who don’t sleep enough (7-9 hours) during the week slept in on weekends.

Why and how? The brain needs a reset every night—that’s why it’s important to make time to sleep, and follow it up with good sleeping habits, during the week. But the body needs to heal, too. From minor injuries to inflammation and general repairs, the body tackles a lot when you rest. Studies that find sleeping more than 9 hours is tied to a shorter lifespan aren’t wrong—it’s just that the extra sleep is the body trying to fix a different underlying problem. In other words, if you’re tired, listen and give in. Your body is signaling that it has some repair work to do, whether that’s fighting a pathogen, healing, or just tackling some much needed maintenance before something goes wrong.

Sleeping in on weekends give the body time to catch up on that maintenance. It’s not as good as getting enough sleep each night, but it’s helping.

If you need help sleeping, start by setting aside enough time (including at least 20 minutes for falling asleep), and having good sleep hygiene like avoiding screens and other light. If you’re sleep struggles go beyond lifestyle changes, get help from our Sleep Support Pack. With ingredients that naturally encourage and support sleep, as well as provide the nutritional tools the body needs for nightly maintenance, it’s a great way to get a sleep boost—even if it’s only on the weekends.

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