(CNN)Wake up, America, and raise your hand if you try to repair your exhausted body by sleeping in on weekends.
A new study says the habit may not be such a good idea for your waistline -- or your health.
"Weekend catch-up sleep is not protective," said Dr. Vsevolod Polotsky, director of sleep research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "The bottom line of this study is that even if you sleep longer on weekends, if you continue to sleep poorly, you will still eat too much, and you will still gain weight."
The common behavior of "sleeping in on the weekends doesn't correct the body's inability to regulate blood sugar if that weekend is followed by a workweek or school week full of insufficient sleep," said study author Kenneth Wright Jr., who directs the sleep lab at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
"And when we go back to getting too little sleep again," Wright said, "we're doing things that could be negative for our health long-term."
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least seven hours of sleep each night for adults and much more for children.
Sleep deprivation leads to overeating
The study, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, assigned 36 healthy young men and women to three groups that had different sleep requirements over a total of 10 days. None of the participants had newborns in the home or any health impairments that would affect the quality of their sleep.
The first group had the opportunity to sleep for nine hours each night for the 10 days. The second group was restricted to only five hours of sleep a night for the same duration, while the third was restricted to five hours Monday through Friday but allowed to sleep as long as they wanted on the weekend and go to bed as early as they liked on Sunday night. Come Monday, that third group was put back on the deprived sleep schedule of only five hours a night.
Both of the sleep-deprived groups snacked more after dinner and gained weight during the study, men much more than women. The