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Sleeping Too Much Can Cause Heart Disease And Death, Says Study

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Scientists warned that people who get too much sleep have a higher risk of experiencing a major cardiovascular event and dying compared to those who get eight hours of sleep. Daytime nappers are also raising their risk, according to study.   ( Gerhard Bögner | Pixabay )

Hitting the snooze button might not be a good idea. Researchers have found a link between too much sleep and an increased risk of death.

For adults, experts recommend six to eight hours of sleep every night. More than that could lead to serious health issues such as stroke or heart failure and early mortality.

Negative Effects Of Sleeping Too Much

A team of researchers led by Chuangshi Wang, a Ph.D. student from the McMaster and Peking Union Medical College in China looked at data from 21 countries to see how much sleep, whether they are getting more than or less than eight hours a day, affect people's health. A total of 116,632 adults between the age of 35 and 70 were involved in the study.

They found that those who sleep more than the recommended eight hours a day increased their risk of experiencing a major cardiovascular event as well as death by 41 percent.

Those who do not get at least six hours, meanwhile, also showed an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases or death, but not as much. The researchers saw a 9.4 percent higher risk of cardiovascular diseases or death for people who get less sleep.

The study also found an association between a higher risk of mortality and napping during the day.

"Daytime napping was associated with increased risks of major cardiovascular events and deaths in those with [more than] six hours of nighttime sleep but not in those sleeping [less than] 6 hours a night," explained Wang.

Because of the nature of the study, the researchers could not identify the cause of the association. Wang also warned that the study has several limits because the data was self-reported. Moreover, the team did not collect information about disorders that could impact sleep and health.

Previous studies have linked the length of sleep to chronic diseases, but the association has been found in people who underslept (less than six hours of sleep). Not getting enough sleep increases a person's risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Get Better Sleep

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed in a report released in 2014 that 35.2 percent of American adults get less than seven hours of sleep.

The public health agency recommends that people who have trouble sleeping to cut out consumption of caffeine and tobacco/nicotine especially before bed and avoid using electronic devices.

The study was published in the European Heart Journal.

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