It turns out sleeping longer than the recommended seven or eight hours a night could actually be doing you more harm than good, new research suggests.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found those who slept for ten hours a night were 30 per cent more likely to die prematurely than those who slept for eight.
Excessive sleep was also linked to a 56 per cent increased risk of death from stroke and a 49 per cent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. And poor sleep quality was associated with a 44 per cent increase in risk coronary heart disease. The experts combined the results of 74 studies to produce the results.
Lead researcher Dr Chun Shing Kwok, of Keele University in England, said: “Abnormal sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk and greater consideration should be given in exploring both duration and sleep quality during patient consultations.”
“There are cultural, social, psychological, behavioural, pathophysiological and environmental influences on our sleep such as the need to care for children or family members, irregular working shift patterns, physical or mental illness, and the 24-hour availability of commodities in modern society.”
The researchers, who studied more than three million people, said doctors should screen patients who are sleeping for a long time each night for heart problems.
The study, which also involved researchers from the universities of Leeds, Manchester and East Anglia, said the research was limited as duration of sleep was self-reported and that underlying mental or physical conditions may have had an impact on extreme sleep patterns.
It comes after a study from the US claimed that people who suffer from insomnia or struggle to get a good night’s sleep could unintentionally be increasing their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study said that sleep deprivation can increase levels of beta-amyloid in the human brain, something that is commonly associated as a risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease.
It found that just one night of little or no sleep dramatically increases the levels of this dangerous protein, leading researchers to conclude that a lack of proper rest or sleep makes it harder for the body to flush the body of dangerous toxins.