Sleepyheads beware: regular lie-ins of eight hours of sleep or more a night could actually lead to an early death. Yes, really. According to a 10-year study carried out by Warwick University, anyway.
While most of us actively try to get hour eight hours of beauty sleep, researchers are now suggesting that it is not the optimum amount of shuteye we should be aiming for, and could actually be harmful.
The decade-long study appeared to show that adults who usually sleep for more that eight hours a night (or less than six) are at risk of dying earlier that those that sleep between six and eight hours.
Professor Franco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology at the University of Warwick, analysed 16 studies, in which more than a million people were asked about their sleeping habits and then followed up over time.
He put people in three groups: those who slept less than six hours a night; those who slept between six and eight hours a night; and those who slept more than eight hours.
According to the BBC, his analysis showed that 12 per cent more of the short sleepers had died when they were followed up, compared to the medium sleepers.
But a huge 30 per cent more of the long sleepers had died compared to the medium sleepers.
Experts found that too much snoozing can cause problems sometimes associated with too little sleep, including depression, heart disease, diabetes, and other underlying health concerns.
So what should we be aiming for every night? Seven hours, apparently.
Doctor Gregg Jacobs, of the Sleep Disorders Centre at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, backed up the latest study.
According to the Daily Telegraph, he said, "Seven hours sleep keeps turning up over and over again.
"The typical adult today reports seven hours of sleep. And that actually seems to be the median sleep duration in the adult population around the world.
"That suggests there's something around seven hours of sleep that's kind of natural for the brain."
Not good at getting even six or seven hours a night? Here are some handy snooze-boosting tips and products:
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