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Sleeping for more than 8 hours each night increases chances of early death, says new study

The study points out that there is already a high possibility that people who are found to be sleeping too much are suffering from undiagnosed problems in their daily life
UPDATED MAR 30, 2020
(Source:Getty Images)
(Source:Getty Images)

For all those people who have a constant love-hate relationship with sleep, and prefer spending more time sleeping than keeping awake, there's some bad news for you. According to a recent study, people who tend to sleep for more than the standard 8 hours have greater risk of dying early than those who sleep less.

The study, which involved more than 3.3 million people around the world, also found out that sleeping for too long raised the risk of heart disease and strokes, reports the Daily Mail.

It said that excessive sleep among individuals should ideally be considered as a sign of poor health.

The lowest risk was shown for those who slept between seven and eight hours per day, the researchers said. For people who got less sleep, the risk of disease and death rose gradually, but not enough to be statistically significant.

According to the study, those who slept for nine hours a night had a 14 per cent increased mortality risk; the risk for those who got 10 hours went up 30 per cent; and those who slept for 11 hours were 47 per cent more likely to die an early death.

People who got 10 hours or more were also at a 56 per cent increased risk of dying from a stroke and 49 per cent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. It further said that people getting too much sleep tend to exercise less, which in turn raises their risk of heart problems.

However, there is already a high possibility that people who are found to be sleeping too much are suffering from undiagnosed problems in their daily life. "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 said.

"Depressive symptoms, low socioeconomic status, unemployment and low physical activity are also associated with long sleep duration." The researchers also mentioned the importance of doctors screening their patients who are sleeping for a long time each night for heart problems.

Lead researcher Dr. Chun Shing Kwok of Keele University 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 during consultations."

"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."

Dr. Kwok added: "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. Sleep affects everyone."

"The amount and quality of our sleep is complex. There are cultural, social, psychological, behavioural, 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."