Study Reveals That Sleeping More Than 8 Hours Increases Your Risk of An Early Death

We’ve all heard that a good night’s sleep is important for your health and well-being, but did you know that you may be getting too much sleep? Researchers warn that sleeping more than 8 hours per night may be doing more harm than good.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that the average adult should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order to be well rested and allow the body to function optimally. This time is necessary with our busy schedules as it allows your body, including your brain, the opportunity to relax and recover from the day.

A new study, however, warns that the right amount of sleep is crucial in order to optimize our health and well-being. Analyzing the sleeping habits of over 1 million participants, and comparing them to their current state of health, researchers found that sleep had a direct impact. In fact, those who slept eight hours or more, and those who sleep less than four hours, were found to have a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular problems and premature death.

The study was led by researchers from Keele University in conjunction with researchers from the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds and the University of East Anglia. The team analyzed data and information from a total of 74 different studies, specifically looking for a correlation between sleep quality and duration and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Their findings highlight the important role that sleep plays in our lives.

“Sleep affects everyone. The amount and quality of our sleep is complex,” explained the study’s lead researcher Chun Shing. “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.

“This research began because we were interested to know if it was more harmful to sleep below or beyond the recommended sleep duration of seven to eight hours. We further wanted to know how incremental deviation from recommended sleep duration altered risk of mortality and cardiovascular risk. Our study has an important public health impact in that it shows that excessive sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk.”

The study found that sleeping approximately 10 hours per night increased the risk of premature death 30% in comparison to those who slept only 7 hours each night. This wasn’t the only surprising change. Those who slept 10 hours were also found to have a 49% increase in cardiovascular disease mortality risk and a 56% increase in stroke mortality risk.

The theory will require more attention from scientists and researchers as this study wasn’t conducted as an independent and controlled study, but rather a collection of data reported from other sources. In the meantime, the study’s authors recommend that you set your alarms in order to maximize that perfect sleep window at approximately 7-8 hours each night. This is your best chance of avoiding health complications relating to your sleep down the road.

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