"Possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep", researchers said.
The authors from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute tracked the sleep of more than 43,000 people for 13 years from 1997.
Those involved with the data say when people who get less sleep during the week slept in on weekends, their mortality rate was the same as those who get seven-hours per night.
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. For under-65s, they found while sleeping fewer than five hours a night increased mortality by 52 percent, the increased chance of death could be wiped out by getting the right amount once or twice a week.
But when the short sleepers slept in on the weekends, their mortality rate did not differ from that of the consistent seven-hour-a-night-ers.
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The study has its limitations, as participants were asked to recall their sleep patterns rather than being observed sleeping, but Åkerstedt has an idea about what might be driving this difference in mortality.
For people over 65-years-old there is no link between sleep duration and a heightened risk of death. "It's a fundamental part of our biology, like breathing".
A man sleeping in bed Infront of an alarm clock.
After a week of early starts, most people look forward to having a long lie-in on the weekend and it turns out that by doing so we're actually prolonging our life. Monday was found to be the day of the week when people feel the least energetic. "Perhaps it's giving them hope that this habit is in some way good for them".