Forget the weekend lie-in!

London - Having a lie-in at the weekend just makes you more tired when Monday morning comes around, a leading sleep expert has claimed.

Gregory Carter said sleeping even an hour later than usual on Saturday and Sunday disrupts the body’s internal clock.

Independent sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley said having long lie-ins could be harmful for those who normally get little sleep. Credit:

This is because it makes it harder to get to sleep on Sunday night, and as a result more difficult to get up the following day.

Dr Carter added: “A great myth of sleep deprivation is that if we miss sleep over the course of the working week, we need to catch up on an hour-by-hour basis on the weekend.”

But the neurologist and sleep medicine specialist, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, insisted that any “sleep debt” from the working week can be balanced out by just spending eight hours in bed.

He said: “To maintain our internal clock, we need to go to bed eight hours before our usual time for getting out of bed in the morning. Too many of us, however, stay up later on Friday and Saturday nights and choose to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

“This pattern – combined with sleep-defeating actions that may include alcohol consumption and late-night checking of emails just prior to bedtime – makes for a painful Monday wake-up call.”

Our body is programmed to sleep during night hours, and studies show those who disrupt their body clock, such as shift workers, are more susceptible to a range of diseases.

Dr Carter says going to sleep earlier is more effective than sleeping in later.

He said that when people are really sleepy, their brains rest more efficiently. - Daily Mail