Studies: Sleeping too much or not enough comes with major health risks

After years of being warned that not sleeping enough is linked to heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes (along with a lessened sex drive and higher risk of accidents), the media is now reporting that a “New study finds connection between oversleeping and strokes.”

It’s a perfect example of why you shouldn’t change your habits based on the media’s reporting of new research.

Every person’s body is different and your lifestyle, age, and health all have a big impact on how much sleep you need to function properly. In this particular study, the authors found that sleeping more than 8 hours (which is still within the recommended amount of sleep by the National Sleep Foundation and other experts) correlated with a higher risk of stroke. Note: the study did not find that sleeping more than 8 hours per night caused strokes and it relied on participants to self-report how much they were sleeping to researchers. Research participants who slept longer may have had other health problems or eating and exercise habits that increased their stroke risk.

So you shouldn’t lose any sleep worrying about whether your sleep habits are increasing or decreasing your stroke risk. And if you’re worried about whether you’re sleeping too much or too little, your doctor is a better resource than media summaries of new research!