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Too much sleep could increase stroke risk, says new study

Too much sleep could increase stroke risk, says new study
18th May 2015

A new study by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has suggested that sleeping over eight hours a night could triple the risk of stroke among those who already suffer from high blood pressure.

A team from the hospital analysed data from 204,000 US adults with the condition over the course of ten years, and they found that those who slept for over eight hours had a 14 per cent chance of having a stroke - this is nearly three times the five per cent risk that those who have seven-to-eight hours would have. Furthermore, those who slept for less than five hours would increase their chances of having a deadly brain haemorrhage.

It is believed that adults need between six and nine hours sleep a night, but oversleeping is linked to the likes of obesity and diabetes. Lack of sleep, meanwhile, may disrupt the body's metabolism and cause rising levels of the cortisol hormone - this can lead to higher blood pressure and cause strokes. It now seems that too much sleep may also have a similar effect, but scientists are yet not too sure why.

It is important to note, however, that too much or little sleep has still not been proven to increase stroke risk, as it may be that worse health or lifestyles choices play a part in it too.

This research follows a study recently carried out by the University of Cambridge, which highlighted that those who sleep for over eight hours a day on average would be 46 per cent more likely to have a stroke. These findings were based on following 10,000 people aged between 42 and 81 for 9.5 years.

Around two million people in the UK currently suffer from high blood pressure.

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