Getting Too Much Sleep Can Harm Your Health — Here’s How Much Is Too Much

We hear all the time how it’s important to get enough sleep. Being sleep-deprived can put a person at risk for blood sugar imbalances, trouble maintaining their weight, and mental health issues. But is it possible to get too much sleep? And if yes, how many hours is too many hours? A new study published in the European Heart Journal sheds light on exactly that.

The researchers collected data from over 116,000 people who lived in 21 different countries around the world. They followed them for eight years and found that those who slept more than eight hours a night were more likely to experience a cardiovascular disease or death.

To be exact, if the participants in the study slept eight to nine hours, the increased risk was 5 percent. That’s not a huge increase, but the risk increases drastically from there. For people who slept nine to 10 hours a night or more than 10 hours a night, the risk jumped to 17 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

So what about naps? It seems that naps are great, but only if you slept less than six hours the night before. The results showed that taking naps during the daytime also increased the risk in people who already slept more than six hours that night.

You might be wondering “Could any other factors be causing this?” but like most studies, the researchers controlled for factors like age, BMI, lifestyle factors like smoking and physical activity, and other illnesses like depression and diabetes. It seems this risk of cardiovascular disease is directly related to hours of sleep.

So while sleep is still healthy—and we should prioritize it in honor of our physical and mental health—sleeping too much can also be detrimental to your heart health. As with many things in life, it’s all about balance and finding the right amount of sleep for you (without overdoing it).

According to the study’s lead author, Chuangshi Wang: “Get enough sleep—that is, six to eight hours a day. But if you sleep more than nine hours a day, you may want to visit a doctor to check your overall health.”

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