A new study has found that sleeping more than eight hours a day could increase your risk for stroke.
Researchers studied 9,692 people, ages 42 to 81, who had never had a stroke. The study tracked how many hours a night the people slept at the beginning of the study and how much nightly sleep they were getting four years later. Over the 10-year study, 346 of the study subjects suffered strokes.
After accounting for other health and behavioral variables, researchers discovered that people who slept more than eight hours a day were 46% more likely to have had a stroke than those who slept six to eight hours.
The study also found that the risk of stroke increased among people who reported that their need for sleep had increased over the study period.
The study points out that older adults may naturally sleep longer due to reduced work and social demands. However, their self-reports of sleep time are typically less than they actually sleep. Therefore, it is worth noting excessive sleep as an early sign of increased stroke risk, particularly among older people.
If you are already at risk for a stroke, it's important to discuss your sleep habits with your doctor. If you notice your sleep patterns change, be sure to alert your doctor.
That's interesting. Everything you read these days points to a lack of sleep being a significant indicator of mortality. I think, as your article points out, increased need for sleep points to underlying problems. So it's not that sleep is the cause, but rather increase sleep is an effect.