‘No one is getting enough sleep,’ that’s a common refrain. But if you think that making it up by allocating more snooze time can help you catch up, think again.
Sleeping longer than the recommended eight hours may be bad for your physical and mental health, says a study from Keele University with the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds and the University of East Anglia in the UK.
Researchers linked an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death with those who like an extended bedtime.
Researchers looked at previous studies on the link between sleep duration, sleep quality and the risk of death and cardiovascular disease. They also included sleep reports from over 3 million participants.
The researchers found that participants who reported sleeping for more than eight hours a night had a greater mortality and cardiovascular risk than those who slept for less than seven hours.
A sleep duration of ten hours a night was linked with a 30% increased risk of dying compared to sleeping for seven hours, a 56% increased risk of dying from a stroke and a 49% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. In addition, poor-quality sleep was associated with a 44% increase in coronary heart disease. These results should keep you awake at night.
Lead researcher Dr Chun Shing Kwok said, “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.”
“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.”
“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.”
The results were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.