Published: Thursday 26 February 2015
People who sleep for more than eight hours a day have an increased risk of stroke, according to a study by the University of Cambridge – and this risk doubles for older people who persistently sleep longer than average. However, the researchers say it is unclear why this association exists and call for further research to explore the link.
Dr Madina Kara, Research Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “In the past, oversleeping has been linked to a host of health problems, including diabetes and obesity. The results of this latest research suggest that sleeping for longer could be a sign that you’re at increased risk of stroke, particularly among older people.
“Sleeping for longer is not a known risk factor for stroke, and the data presented in this research does not provide sufficient evidence to prove that this is of concern. The researchers acknowledge that the reasons behind the suggested link between sleeping for prolonged periods and stroke are not known. Longer sleep could be a symptom, or a cause, of cardiovascular problems.
“The known stroke risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking and lack of exercise. Eating healthily, getting active and quitting smoking can make a big difference to your risk of stroke. Anyone concerned about their health should have a chat with their GP.”