Growing up, many of us were under the assumption that getting 8 hours of sleep or more a night was necessary. However, with recent research, people who sleep for more than 8 hours a day might now have an increased risk of stroke. This risk may even double for older people who persistently sleep longer than average.

The Study

According to The New York Times, researchers studied 9,692 people between the ages of 42 and 81 who had never had a stroke. The study tracked how many hours a night these people slept at the beginning of the study and how much nightly sleep they were getting four years later. Over the course of 10 years, 346 of the study subjects suffered strokes. After looking at more than a dozen other health and behavioral variables, the researchers found that people who slept more than eight hour s a day were 46 percent more likely to have had a stroke than those who slept six to eight hours.

How Much Sleep is Too Much?

The amount of sleep you need varies significantly over the course of your lifetime. This will depend on your age and activity levels, as well as general health and lifestyle habits. During periods of increased stress or illness, you may feel a need for more sleep than usual. However, while sleep needs will differ over time from person to person, experts typically recommend that adults should sleep six to eight hours a night for optimal sleep.

Why Do People Sleep So Much?

You might find that you sleep too much due to various reasons. For instance, people who suffer from hypersomnia oversleep due to a medical condition. Hypersomnia is a condition that causes people to suffer from extreme sleepiness throughout the day, which is not usually relieved by napping—it causes them to sleep for unusually long periods of time at night.

Additionally, obstructive sleep apnea can also be a leading cause of oversleeping. When a person suffers from OSA, they stop breathing momentarily during sleep, which can lead to an increased need for sleep. During these instances of disrupted sleep, the normal sleep cycle is interrupted, which leaves people feeling exhausted and searching for more sleep.

While not everyone that oversleeps suffers from a sleep disorder, it is important to get the right amount of sleep each night. Whether it is six hours or eight hours, it is important to remain in the appropriate window for the best sleep. Contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on sleep disorders and the amount of sleep you should be getting each night.