Though prior research warns that sleep deprivation may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new, study suggests that ‘catch-up’ sleep might reverse that risk – at least in the short term. Short-changing sleep during the week only to sleep in for long periods on the weekend is a common pattern in the United States, according to the study authors. And, previous research has suggested that getting just four or five hours of sleep a night can boost type 2 diabetes risk by nearly 20 percent. But the new study hints that that risk might be reversed with just two days of extra sleep.

“In real life, you’d be losing sleep week in and week out, so we don’t know whether catch-up sleep can give you this kind of risk improvement in that context. But the good take-away from this work is that at least in terms of diabetes risk, it seems that you’re not necessarily totally screwed if you experience sleep loss,” said study lead author Josiane Broussard, an assistant research professor with the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The investigators concluded that catch-up sleep may reverse the negative short-term impact of sleep loss on diabetes risk, at least in otherwise healthy fit young men.