Sleep easy: `Lie-ins good for health`

London: A lie-in at the weekend is good for health, says a study which has found that the extra hours in bed can help people recover from sleep they have missed out on during the week.

In the study on volunteers, researchers have found that a lie-in boosts one`s health and wellbeing and provides an antidote to the effects of sleep deprivation.

But, significantly, the study has also showed that even 10 hours in bed might not just be enough to recharge the batteries for those who regularly burn the candle at both ends, the `Daily Express` reported.

Inadequate sleep is known to impair people`s ability to think, handle stress, maintain a healthy immune system and keep emotions in check. When people lose sleep, concentration drops and they suffer memory lapses.

Dr David Dinges, who led a team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in America, said: "The additional hour or two of sleep in the morning after chronic partial sleep loss has genuine benefits for continued recovery of behavioural alertness.

"The bottom line is adequate recovery is important for coping with the effects of chronic sleep restriction on the brain."

In fact, the researchers conducted the sleep deprivation experiment on 159 healthy adults.

After spending 10 hours in bed for two nights, 142 guinea pigs were restricted to four hours for five nights running. They were then allowed random doses of recovery sleep for one night. The other 17 volunteers spent 10 hours in bed on all nights.

At 8 AM each day participants were asked to complete a 30-minute assessment. Over the course of the five days, the test performance of the sleep-deprived volunteers was consistently worse than that of well-rested control group.

Even after being allowed 10 hours in bed on one occasion, sleep-restricted participants still had worse scores than the control group for attention lapses, poor reaction times and fatigue, the study found.

Dr Dinges explained: "Lifestyles that involve chronic sleep restriction during the working week and during days off may result in continuing build-up of sleep pressure and in an increased likelihood of loss of alertness and raised errors."



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