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New Study Shows That Sleeping Too Long Increases Risk of Heart Disease

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Most people are aware that lack of sleep is bad for their health. When you don't get enough sleep, not only will feel you feel tired and fatigued the following morning, but your body will also experience elevated cortisol levels. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol causes a myriad of changes in your body, including elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, restlessness and more. With that said, however, getting too much sleep can also be bad for your health.

About the Study

According to a new study, people who get too much sleep at night are more likely to develop heart disease than their counterparts who get the recommended six to eight hours of sleep. The study, published in the medical journal European Heart Journal, analyzed data from more than 20 countries, focusing specifically on sleep habits and heart disease rates. Researchers discovered that people who slept for more than eight hours per night were up to 41% more likely to develop heart disease than people who slept fewer than eight hours.

When discussing the study, Chuangshi Wang explained that daytime napping was linked to heart events and even death in people who slept more than six hours per night. "Daytime napping was associated with increased risks of major cardiovascular events and deaths in those with [more than] six hours of nighttime sleep but not in those sleeping [less than] 6 hours a night," said the study's lead researcher and author, Chuangshi Wang.

Improve Your Sleeping Habits for Better Heart Health

To lower your risk of heart disease, you should work to improve your sleeping habits. This begins with aiming for the recommended six to eight hours of sleep per night. Getting too little sleep is undoubtedly bad for your health. But as revealed in this study, too much sleep can also take a toll on your health. Therefore, you should strive for six to eight hours of sleep each night -- no more or no less.

In addition to sleeping for six to eight hours per night, you should also consider the quality of your sleep. Even if you sleep for this length of time, you may feel fatigued if you don't get high-quality sleep. Constantly tossing and turning throughout the night will prevent your body from falling into the deep, restful stages of sleep. So, how can you improve the quality of your sleep? Start by eliminating all distractions form your bedroom, including the TV, smartphone, lights and noise. Additionally, avoid consuming caffeinated beverages or foods for at least four hours before you lie down to sleep.

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