Sleeping a few extra hours on Saturday and Sunday is healthy. Getting too little sleep, which is epidemic in our 24/7 society, is a major contributor to type 2 diabetes. But researchers from the University of Chicago have determined that two consecutive nights of extended sleep, which is a typical weekend occurrence, appears to counteract that increased risk of type 2 diabetes associated with short-term sleep restriction during the work week. The pattern of cutting back on sleep during the work week followed by catching up on sleep over the weekend is common. Even short-term sleep restriction, with four or five hours of sleep per night, can increase the risk of developing diabetes by about 16 percent — comparable to the increase in risk caused by obesity. That extra sleep can actually wipe out the negative metabolic effects caused by four consecutive nights of restricted sleep. A study found that after four nights of sleep restriction, the men’s insulin sensitivity decreased by 23 percent and their diabetes risk increased by 16 percent. But after two nights of extended sleep, insulin sensitivity and the risk of diabetes returned to normal sleep levels.