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A lot of people live in a 7 day cycle, where 5 days of work are followed by 2 days of "rest". Vacations and holidays can increase the time available for resting.

Is there any biological reason for humans to rest after x days of work? Can this be explained by the buildup of by-products of metabolism, like Homocysteine?

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No, it's explained by Family, a very complex stuff :) –  rwst Nov 8 '12 at 17:19
Don't forget, humans rest every day when sleeping. Whether you are at work or not, your body is still active, still "working". –  terdon Nov 8 '12 at 17:33
Sleep is circadian in nature, with this question I'm trying to understand if there are other, longer term cycles that I don't know of yet. The wikipedia article on circa-septan cycles is a stub: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circaseptan –  Alex Stone Nov 8 '12 at 23:16
The 7-day week is a recent innovation. The Romans used an eight day week. The Incas used a ten-day week. I don't know of any evidence that prior to the last ten-thousand years people followed anything other than solar (daily and annual) and lunar (monthly) cycles. –  RedGrittyBrick Nov 9 '12 at 9:44
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I think your main assumption is not true -- we do not really rest on weekends.

I do not know many people who only rest on weekends. Usually this is the time for socializing, doing home-related work, physical activity (sports, hiking), spending time with your kids, all of which is often almost the opposite of a rest.

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This is what I'm trying to find out - if there's a reason to take it slow once in a while and relax, purposefully not working. I'm sure with the pace of modern life people cram their weekend to the brim and then wish they did not have to sleep. But this does not appear to me to be the nature's way. I can't think of an animal that is as active at all hours of a day as humans are –  Alex Stone Nov 9 '12 at 9:21
My point is that with few exceptions, weekend is not the time to "take it slow and relax". –  January Nov 9 '12 at 9:23
@Alex, Sheep spend 15% of their time sleeping, the rest is either active foraging or chewing cud. –  RedGrittyBrick Nov 9 '12 at 9:40
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