A lie-in at the weekend really can undo the damage from too many early starts in the week, researchers say.
People who get too little sleep are at a significantly greater risk of dying early compared to those who are well-rested.
One of the largest studies yet provides evidence that weekend lie-ins may help undo the stress of a hectic week.
The authors from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute tracked the sleep of more than 43,000 people for 13 years from 1997.
Those aged 65 or under who slept five hours or less each day were around 25 % more likely to die than those who snoozed through six to seven hours.
But people who managed less than five hours each day for a week, then around six to seven hours at the weekend were no more likely to die than those who consistently slept six to seven hours a day over the same period. For over-65s, no link was found between the hours slept and the risk of death. The authors, writing in the Journal of Sleep Research, noted: ‘The results imply that short (weekday) sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep.’