If You Sleep More Than 8 Hours A Night, It Could Be A Sign Of A Larger Health Issue

by Carolyn de Lorenzo

It’s well known that not getting enough sleep can mess with your health in the long run, but new research suggests that getting too much sleep can be just as bad — and maybe even worse. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) claims that sleeping more than eight hours every night might point to a larger health issue. Business Insider reports that, according to the new study, participants who slept for 10 hours every night had a 49 percent higher risk of cardiovascular illnesses, were 56 percent more likely to experience a stroke, and had a 30 percent greater chance of dying earlier than those who slept less on an ongoing basis.

Medical News Today reported that researchers from Keele University in the United Kingdom conducted the sleep study via pooled data of over three million people, and found that health risks increased in proportion to the number of hours slept beyond the recommended limits — 10 hour sleep times increased health risks by 30 percent overall, while overall poor sleep quality was also linked to a higher risk of heart disease in the study. So sleeping extra isn't going to give you an extra boost because of all that rest — on the contrary, it could be detrimental to your health.

The study’s authors noted that the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for those between the ages of 18 and 64, and seven to eight hours for those over age 65. However, people whose sleep patterns greatly exceed these recommendations may be at increased risk for health problems over time. Business Insider also notes that some research does suggest that sleeping in on the weekends can help counter the effects of too little sleep during the week — so figuring out an ideal sleeping pattern on an individual basis is also important.

The main takeaway of the current research is that getting too much sleep on the regular may indicate increased health risks — but overall sleep quality is as important as sleep duration. Business Insider further notes that figuring out how much sleep you need isn't an exact science, as everyone's sleep needs will be different. Basically, some folks simply need more sleep than others, while others do fine on less.

So if you find that sleeping in on the weekends helps you recover from sleep deprivation during the week, don’t stress over whether it's affecting your health — the research also suggests that sleeping in on your downtime may help counter the effects of not enough sleep during the week. Furthermore, if you naturally tend to snooze for closer to nine hours a day, it isn't the end of the world. In general, aiming for the same amount of sleep per night, and having a strong bedtime and morning routine, will be best to help you maximize your sleep quality — which is what really counts when it comes to your health. And if you still need that mid-day nap, do what works for you.