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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On the weekends, do you think if you snooze, you win?

If you do, you’re not alone. KDKA-TV Health Editor Dr. Maria Simbra posed that question to people in Market Square.

“I try to get a good six or seven hours every night, I don’t always succeed, but usually I catch up on the weekend.”

“You’re so tired, you need it.”

“On weekends? I do like to stay in and get a little extra shut eye.”

During the work week, many people don’t get the nightly recommended seven to nine hours of uninterrupted slumber.

“Most of us limit the time we spend in bed, because we want to stay up later, we’re working late, we’re watching TV, and then we have to get up and go to work,” says Allegheny Health Network sleep specialist Dr. Daniel Shade.

So, they try to make up for it on the weekends by sleeping in.

Is there something to this? A sleep researcher from Sweden, who has focused on thousands of pairs of twins, has been spotlighted as emphasizing the average amount of sleep as a factor for fewer deaths and longer life.

Perhaps as a calculation, that holds, but in real life, Dr. Shade is hesitant to buy into that.

“There are many studies, though, that show catching up on the weekend doesn’t work,” he says. “It’s going to make you less sleepy, of course, because you’re sleeping in. But, there are metabolic effects and performance deficits that take longer to correct.”

Going through the various stages of sleep is good for your memory, emotions, and immune system.

Shortchanging the shuteye during the work week may lead to you not functioning at your best. Extra sleep on the weekend doesn’t fix that.

“If you fast all week, and expect to make up for it on the weekend, that’s not going to work. Just like if you never exercise, and you take one weekend where you’re really going to exercise, probably not going to work in the long-term. That might be a way to look at binge sleeping, trying to catch up,” Dr. Shade says.

To get enough sleep each night of the work week, set aside enough of time to sleep — that’s seven to nine hours uninterrupted sleep. Wind down before bed by avoiding stress and light exposure and no excessive alcohol before bedtime.

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