Too Much Sleep Link To Death And Heart Disease

Too Much Sleep Link To Death and Heart Disease
Sleeping more than the recommended six to eight hours a night could lead to premature death. (Photo: C_Scott | Pixabay)

Getting the required amount of sleep according to your age is needed for your body to function properly. Getting too much of what's necessary is s a different story since it could do more harm than good.

"Too much of something is bad enough" as the British girl group Spice Girls said. Too much makeup makes your skin look old in the long term, and too much sugar makes you fat. However, it is surprising that too much sleep, which is one of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, can also lead to serious health problems.

Research published in the European Heart Journal revealed that too much sleep could ultimately lead to heart problems and worse, premature death. A study on 116, 000 people from 21 different countries and between the ages of 35 and 70 showed a surprising correlation between death and too much sleep. Follow up checks on these subjects in a span of eight years yielded 4,365 cardiovascular issues and 4,381 deaths.

The study showed that adults who sleep nine and ten hours a night had greater chances of dying or developing a disease of the heart or the blood vessel, compared to those who sleep the recommended six to eight hours. They had a five percent increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart failure and increased their risk of death by up to 41 percent.

Salim Yusuf, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, reminds the general public to get only the recommended six to eight hours of nightly sleep to avoid health complications. He suggests that doctors should include asking their patients about the duration of their sleep and daytime naps for their clinical histories to help identify those who are at risk of blood vessel and heart disease.

However, Yusuf pointed out that it is also important to take into account the underlying reason why someone sleeps longer. Perhaps it is the body's way of telling that person that something is physically and clinically wrong.

"On the other hand, if you sleep too much regularly, say more than nine hours a day, then you may want to visit a doctor to check your overall health."

Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology at Warwick University, agreed that ill health causes a person to sleep more. A person who has underlying cancer tend to sleep more because they are drained of energy. The same goes for those who have an undetected illness that causes their body to feel fatigue.

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