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More Than 8 Hours of Sleep Could Be Unhealthy

Despite the mountains of research that sleep is absolutely essential for the survival of the human body, new reports have found that too much of it might just impede your health. While the average person requires 6-9 hours a night, those who indulge in lengthy sleep patterns could be putting themselves at risk for neurological and heart related health issues.

The subject has been studied intensely by Yue Leng, a member of a sleep based research team from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Public Health and Primary Care, and findings support the conclusion that at least in the case of adults between the ages of eighteen and sixty-four, this minimum and maximum number of sleep hours should not be missed.

Increasing The Risk Of Stroke

The numbers calculated throughout the latest studies on the subject of oversleep have determined that there is an increase of approximately 46% for stroke when the above hours of sleep are not reached in full, or are exceeded. Medical News Today explains: “Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is restricted, either through a blood clot or a burst blood vessel. More than 795,000 people in the US experience stroke each year and it is the leading cause of disability in the country.”

Unfortunately, the results were inconclusive as to whether or not it is the sleep that affects the stroke rate, or that those prone to a stroke may in fact sleep more than the average person. Either way, the elongated sleep patterns point to possible health risks involving stroke, which has put the medical community on edge.

Checking The Data

During Leng’s study 9,700 people were involved and monitored over a period of up to ten years. During this time the participant’s sleep patterns were tracked and recorded, giving researchers insight into whether or not this would ultimately affect their future health. The average age of participants during the study was 68 years, and both men and women participants saw a majority of 6 to 8 hours of sleep, with a 1 in 10 ratio showing an increase of more than 8 hours. CBS News reports: “Over the follow-up period, 346 people had strokes. Those who slept longer than eight hours had a 46 percent increased stroke risk, and those who slept less than six hours had an 18 percent higher risk.”

Compared to sleepers who showed regular levels of sleep, between the average rate of 6-8 hours a night, the participants who overslept saw their chances for stroke more than double over the decade following the experiment.

Similar Studies

Other sleep related studies have found various results, most of which determining that too little sleep may be the culprit for a variety of problems from early aging to heart disease. It seems that whether you sleep too little or too much, you may be in danger of facing some health issues. To avoid this, finding ways to relax and gain a proper 6-8 hours each night is important.

Sleep aid such as chamomile tea, massage, and relaxation meditation can all be ways to lull your body into an appropriate sleep pattern. On the other hand, if you have trouble rousing, many scientists have found that patients find it easier to wake up when they start their day with a bounce in their step, avoiding the snooze button, and by finishing a healthy breakfast as soon as possible. While coffee and other caffeine related ingredients might make it a little easier to take on the day, they ultimately may not be beneficial as a long term coping tool, and could lead to improper sleep later at night.

The Difference With Age

Ironically the age for stroke victims tends to be upward of 60 or more years, while statistics show that younger people actually tend to sleep more than seniors. This is something else the scientific community has been observing as far as sleep patterns go because seniors tend to have more time to sleep, whereas those between the ages of 20 and 45 have been recorded as showing less optimum sleep time, but still manage to sleep in more so than those who are older than 45. Science Daily says: “While older people have less work and fewer social demands and therefore often have the option of sleeping longer, previous research has shown that in fact, they tend to sleep on average for shorter periods.”

This leads doctors and researchers with plenty of thinking to do in terms of how your sleep could be affecting your overall health, but one thing is certain, when it comes to stroke, sleeping in might be negatively impacting your life. If you find yourself sluggish, sleeping for longer than normal periods of time, or displaying any symptoms of a pre-stroke condition, contacting your physician is of the utmost importance.

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