A new study has suggested adults who get more than eight hours shut-eye a night are at risk of sleeping themselves into an early grave.
Long sleepers were 30 per cent more likely to die early than those who slept for six and eight, according to 10 years of research on sleeping habits and health. This study was conducted by Warwick University scientists.
And danger awaits short sleepers, too – 12 per cent more of them died compared to those in the six to eight group.
University of Warwick Professor Franco Cappuccio analysed 16 studies that surveyed a total of one million people around the world. He corrected for factors that may cause people to sleep for longer, such as depression or use of sedatives – but found the association with early death was still there.
A related study, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology, found middle-aged and older people who slept more than eight hours a night were also more susceptible to stroke – 45 per cent more likely, in fact. There was a 19 per cent increased risk of stroke for those who slept less than six hours.
These findings are seconded by Greg Jacobs from the University of Massachusetts, who says there is a wealth of evidence showing a U-shaped relationship between sleep duration and mortality – the further away from seven hours a night you are, the more likely to you are to die early.
Problems that could stem from too much, or less sleep includes depression, heart disease, diabetes and other underlying health concerns.