Getting too much sleep has been linked to a greater risk of disease and death, according to a study published Wednesday.
Snoozing just two hours more than the recommended six to eight hours a night was associated with an increase in the risk for strokes or heart failures by up to 41 percent, according to the researchers, whose paper appears in the European Heart Journal.
The team, led by Chuangshi Wang, a Ph.D. student at McMaster and Peking Union Medical College in China, also found that some daytime nappers were at risks.
“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,” Wang said.
But in those who underslept, “a daytime nap seemed to compensate for the lack of sleep at night and to mitigate the risks.”
A possible reason for the rising risk could be that people already have underlying conditions that are causing them to sleep longer — and could, in turn, raise the risk of cardiovascular disease or mortality, the authors of the study explained.
“The general public should ensure that they get about six to eight hours of sleep a day. 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,” said Professor Salim Yusuf, one of the researchers.
“For doctors, including questions about the duration of sleep and daytime naps in the clinical histories of your patients may be helpful in identifying people at high risk of heart and blood vessel problems or death,” he said.