Too much sleep can increase stroke, heart disease risks

Those who slept for ten hours were 30 per cent more likely to die prematurely than those who slept for seven hours

Those who slept for ten hours were 30 per cent more likely to die prematurely than those who slept for seven hours

Too little sleep can cause dysfunctions of the organs and kill, researchers have said in the past.

Poor sleep quality was associated with a 44% increase in coronary heart disease, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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.

But the new review of 74 studies involving three million people shows the opposite is true.

Current recommendations suggest that adults should sleep for eight hours a night and although the precise benefits of sleep are still unknown, experts believe it gives the body a chance to fix cells and blood vessels, clear out waste and boost the immune system.

Those who spend longer in bed are more likely to die early and develop cardiovascular disease.

They said Global Positioning System ought to ask their patients questions about sleeping patterns during appointments.

Lead researcher Dr Chun Shing Kwok said, "Sleep affects everyone".

The study, which also involved researchers from the universities of Leeds, Manchester and East Anglia, said the research was limited as duration of sleep was self-reported and that underlying mental or physical conditions may have had an impact on "extreme sleep patterns". "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". The review found no difference between those who reported sleeping between seven and eight hours and those who got less than seven.

'Our findings have important implications as clinicians should have greater consideration for exploring sleep duration and quality in consultations.

"There are cultural, social, psychological, behavioural, pathophysiological and environmental influences on our sleep".

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