If you're the type who loves to loll around in bed looking for an extra hour or two of sleep on weekends, scientists are giving you the thumbs-up. It really can work marvels with your well-being.
Tests on volunteers showed that the occasional sleep-in provides an invaluable antidote to the harmful effects of sleep deprivation.
"The additional hour or two of sleep in the morning after a period of chronic partial sleep loss has genuine benefits for continued recovery of behavioural alertness," the Daily Mail quoted David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as saying.
"The bottom line is that adequate recovery-sleep duration is important for coping with the effects of chronic sleep restriction on the brain," he added.
In the study, 142 adults with an average age of 30 were restricted to four hours in bed from 4am to 8am for five consecutive nights.
At the end of the week, the volunteers were assigned to one of six 'doses' of a single night's 'recovery sleep' - ranging from zero to ten hours.
Another 17 made up a comparison group who spent ten hours in bed nightly.
As expected, the test performance of the sleep-deprived volunteers was consistently worse than that of the well-rested control group.
But just one lie-in after a week of sleep deprivation improved mental faculties and the longer the lie-in, the more alert they become.
However, even after ten hours in bed, sleep-restricted participants still had worse scores than the control group for attention lapses, poor reaction times, and fatigue.