It's no secret that a few extra hours of sleep does the body good.
But new research suggests that those extra hours of sleep may even assist with weight loss.
The study out of the University of Washington found that sleeping more than nine hours a night can block genetic factors linked to weight gain.
"The less sleep you get, the more your genes contribute to how much you weigh. The more sleep you get, the less your genes determine how much you weigh," says lead author Nathaniel Watson, a neurologist and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle in a USA Today article.
In a study of more than 1,000 pairs of twins, they found those who slept less than seven hours a night had a higher average body mass index than those who slept more than nine hours.
A doctor at Scripps Health in Del Mar said the study's finding may pave the way for hormonal weight loss research.
"Probably in the next 3 or 4 years we'll be able to manipulate your hormones so you can lose weight, but right now it really looks like sleep is gonna be a very good way of get your hormones on track... to keep your weight down," the doctor said.
The study also found that obesity-related genes were less of a factor in those who got more sleep.