Sleeping More Than Eight Hours a Night Increases Likelihood of Early Death

Sleeping too much may be bad for you

A new study has some bad news for everyone who likes to lay in and sleep more than eight hours every night. According to a global study led by Keele University, people who regularly make time for more sleep could end up with a "serious sleep disorder" that disrupts their breathing and increases their risk of heart disease. 

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, examined more than three million people to see if there was a link between how much sleep a person self-reported, and their risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality. 

Scientist say the results were striking. Participants who reported sleeping for ten hours or more at night were linked to having a 30 percent increase of early death as compared to people who said they only got around seven hours of sleep every night.

Participants who slept more than eight hours every night also showed a 56 percent increase in stroke mortality and a 49 percent increase risk of cardiovascular mortality. 

'Long sleep duration may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease because of ... comorbidities that lead to fatigue, such as chronic inflammatory disorders and anaemia,' the study's authors wrote.

According to one of the study's authors, Dr. Chun Shing Kwok, a clinical lecturer in cardiology at Keele University, the study, "has an important public health impact in that it shows that excessive sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk.

"Our findings have important implications as clinicians should have greater consideration for exploring sleep duration and quality during consultations," said Dr. Kwok. 

"If excessive sleep patterns are found, particularly prolonged durations of eight hours or more, then clinicians should consider screening for adverse cardiovascular risk factors and obstructive sleep apnoea, which is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep."

"The important message is that abnormal sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk and greater consideration should be given in exploring both duration and sleep quality during patient consultations," Dr. Kwok added. 

Even if you're getting the right amount of sleep, the quality of your shut-eye matters. According to the study, poor sleep quality was also associated with a 44% increase in coronary heart disease. 

"Sleep affects everyone. The amount and quality of our sleep is complex. There are cultural, social, psychological, behavioral, pathophysiological and environmental influences on our sleep such as the need to care for children or family members, irregular working shift patterns, physical or mental illness, and the 24-hour availability of commodities in modern society," said Dr. Kwok. 

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