too-much-sleep

Scientists reveal that too much sleep may be linked to poor health

When lie-ins are more than an occasional treat, it could indicate a more serious problem

Jessica B

We all know what a treat it can be to enjoy a few extra hours in bed on a Saturday morning, but if long sleeps aren’t just a weekend treat for you – and you regularly find yourself sleeping for much longer than eight hours most nights – then be careful. Why? Because a new study has shown this may be linked to early death. The research, which was published in the Journal of the American heart Association, found that people who sleep for 10 hours are 30% more likely to die prematurely than those who sleep for eight. 

We often associate a lack of sleep with health problems – but the opposite could also be true

The scientists also found that sleeping too much brings a 56% increased risk of death from stroke and a 495 increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. They came to these conclusions after studying data from 74 studies involving more than three million people in total. They concluded that abnormal sleep could be an indicator of cardiovascular problems.

READ MORE: 13 very surprising facts about sleep and wellbeing

Dr Chun Shing Kwok, lead researcher and clinical lecturer at Keele University's Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, said: "Our 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 in consultations.

READ MORE: Sleep Apnoea: What is it and how dangerous can it be?

"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 apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep."

However, he also warned that the research was limited because sleep is self-reported. If you are currently experiencing sleep problems due to the heat, take a look at our tips for sleeping during a heatwave and get a proper night's rest.

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