People are aware of the consequences of too little sleep. Many studies have shown that lack of sleep in the long term can lead to memory and concentration problems. It can also increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease as well as obesity. But a new study indicates that too much sleep can be just as bad.
Researchers from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge in the UK found out that long sleepers, or those who sleep more than eight hours every night are 46 percent more likely to experience stroke as compared to people who slept from six to eight hours every night. People who have shifted to sleeping more than eight hours a night over time are also 4 times as likely to suffer from a stroke compared to people who sleep the same average hours on a consistent basis.
The said study involved 9,692 participants with an average age of 62 years and who did not experience a stroke event. The researchers gathered data about their sleeping habits and were followed up four years later. The researchers followed the participants for an average of 9.5 years. During this period, 346 participants suffered through a stroke.
The researchers discovered that of the 986 people documented who slept more than 8 hours a night, 52 experienced a stroke event. Only 211 of the 6,684 participants who slept an average amount had a stroke during the study. The researchers accounted for other factors such as high cholesterol, body mass index, high blood pressure, amount of physical activity and others, but the relationship between long sleep and stroke remained the same.
According to Yue Leng, M.Phil., from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and one of the study authors, “We don’t know yet whether long sleep is a cause, consequence or early marker of ill health. More research is needed to understand the relationship between long sleep and stroke.”
Findings of the said study are published in the February online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.