It’s common knowledge that too little sleep per night can lead to serious consequences, such as an increased risk of heart disease, dementia, premature aging and obesity.
But a new body of research suggests that getting too much sleep can be just as deadly.
A global study recently published by the European Heart Journal indicates that sleeping too much can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and death.
In an investigation of “the association of estimated total daily sleep duration and daytime nap duration with deaths and major cardiovascular events”, researchers studied the data of 116,632 people in 21 countries over the duration of almost eight years.
The findings, in corroboration with previous research, indicate that sleeping for 10 or more hours a day can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease – or death – by 41 percent. Rates of heart disease (such as stroke or heart failure) and death were 14.8 per 1000 for those who slept more than 10 hours a night.
However it appears from recent research that a ‘perfect’ night’s sleep ranges from six to eight hours. It’s associated with the lowest risk of deaths and major cardiovascular events, at a rate of 7.8 per 1000.
For those who love a mid-afternoon snooze and sleep for 6 hours or less per night, no increased risk of death or major cardiovascular event was recorded. In keeping with other research, the study found that daytime naps can be great restoration for people who fail to get an ideal night of rest.
However, a daytime nap combined with six or more hours of nighttime sleep was associated with increased risks – confirming the common-sense notion that naps should really be reserved for those who get less sleep at night.
It is worth noting that the data was self-reported, meaning those who slept for longer could potentially have underlying health conditions requiring more rest.