Eight hours is considered the ideal duration for sleeping, but many people fail to get enough of sleep every night. Some though have the luxury of sleeping for more than eight hours. If you think they are lucky, it’s time to re-evaluate your sleeping schedule. According to a study conducted at the University of Cambridge where there were almost 10,000 participants, those who sleep more than the recommended amount are more likely to develop stroke.
This is actually very surprising, since it has been emphasized time and again that sleep is crucial to health. Previous studies showed that not getting enough sleep can cause coronary heart disease as well as stroke. However, new findings also revealed that people who sleep more than eight hours each day have up to 46% of developing stroke than those who only have six to eight hours per night. Meanwhile, those who sleep less than six hours have 18% increased risk. The risk doubled in older women.
More about the Study
The research was performed by scientists from the Department of Public Health in the University of Cambridge. They followed nearly 10,000 people ranging from 42 to 81 years old for almost 10 years. What they did was to collect data by questioning the amount of sleep the participants have. They also asked about the sleep patterns twice – after four and six years into the study.
The result of the study was that more people slept six to eight hours every day. There is one in 10 participants who slept for more than eight hours. During the course of the research, there were almost 350 people who suffered from stroke and some of them died. The researchers took into account several other factors, such as age and sex, and they were able to conclude that those who sleep longer than the recommended amount have higher chances of having stroke than average people.
Lack of Sleep vs More Than Enough Sleep
There were findings before that suggested lack of sleep is linked to disrupted metabolism as well as increased cortisol (stress hormone) levels. These two lead to higher blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease risk. The authors of the study explained that the connection between lack of sleep and stroke and other diseases may be independent of risk factors for the health conditions.
But excessive sleep is much worse. It is considered an early indicator of stroke risk, especially for those who are older. Stroke is the third largest killer in the world next to heart disease and cancer. Most people who are more than 65 years old are affected, but this disease can happen to anyone.