Could Too Much Sleep Kill You?

A new study in the journal Neurology is questioning the common wisdom that eight hours of sleep a night is the healthiest thing to do. In fact, sleeping too much might be increasing your stroke risks.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge followed nearly 9,700 female and male participants aged 42 to 81, who recorded their sleep patterns for four years (1998 to 2000, and again 2002 to 2004). Almost 10 years later, they followed up with participants and found that 346 of them had suffered from a stroke. 

The one thing they had in common? 

They slept longer than those who hadn't suffered from a stroke. Overall, researchers determined that those who slept more than eight hours each night were 46% more likely to have a stroke when compared to those who had only slept six to eight hours.

So does this mean sleeping eight hours a night is too much

Afterall, it was just a few weeks ago that the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommended that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

"I would say sleeping longer is more of a symptom of other issues," says Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen

Sleeping longer may be the result of a cardiovascular issue. Or it could mean your sleep is being disrupted, another indication that something might be up with your health. But get ready to be even more confused. In the same study, researchers also found that those participants who slept less than six hours a night were 18% more likely to have a stroke. And this isn't the only time that researchers have looked at lack of sleep and its health risks.

Related - 5 Reasons Why You Wake Up Feeling Exhausted

In another study, the NSF found that those who slept less than six hours a night were twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack.

Scratching your heads yet? If you're not sure what this means for you, Dr. Anderson has some basic advice: If you're waking up feeling refreshed after an eight-hour night, stick to the schedule you've got. But if you worry you're sleeping too much or too little and still feel tired come morning, talk to your doctor.

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