Not setting a morning alarm when you go to bed Friday night sure does feel good, but a new study suggests it it may not be very good for you.
The study, conducted by Harvard Medical School professionals and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that irregular sleep schedules could possibly be a risk factor for heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study observed the sleep duration and schedules of almost 2,000 participants between the ages of 45 and 84 over seven-day periods between 2010 and 2013. Researchers then did follow-up studies with those participants in 2016.
People who varied their sleep schedules by an average of 90 minutes over seven days doubled their risk of contracting heart disease. The link remained strong even after controlling for risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol, CNN reported.
David Goff, the director of cardiovascular sciences at the United States National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, told CNN the findings are “huge,” and particularly concerning for people who live busy lives and count on weekends to catch up on sleep.
The biggest takeaway from the study: Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, according to CNN.
For those who struggle to keep a consistent sleep schedule, the National Sleep Foundation suggests exercising everyday, avoiding naps and practicing bedtime rituals that are free from blue light — which has been proven to disrupt sleep by suppressing melatonin if used at night, according to Harvard Health.