Don’t Oversleep

We love our beds. But if we love sleeping in them too much — say, more than nine hours a night — it might be a signal something’s not quite right.

Researchers from universities around the world, including Peking Union Medical College and McMaster University, looked at data from participants in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study, which included 116,000 adults in 21 countries, according to a Dec. 7 article in Forbes. Over the course of eight years, researchers asked them questions about their lifestyles and family health histories. During that time, about 4,400 people died and about the same number had a heart attack or stroke.

The study, published in the Dec. 5 issue of the European Heart Journal, found sleep length was linked with cardiovascular risk. Those who slept six to eight hours a night had the lowest risk; those who slept between eight and nine hours had a 5% higher risk; those who slept nine to 10 hours had a 17% greater risk; and those who slept more than 10 hours had a 40% greater risk. Sleeping less than six hours yielded a 5% increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Sleeping too much might be a symptom of existing health issues, the article said.

“The general public should ensure that they get about six to eight hours of sleep each day,” said study author Salim Yusuf. “On the other hand, if you sleep too much regularly, then you may want to visit a doctor to check your overall health.”