LIFESTYLE
25/03/2015 07:27 GMT | Updated 25/03/2015 07:59 GMT

Sleeping-In Could Increase Risk Of An Early Death By A Third, Study Finds

If you love nothing more than lying-in until well past lunchtime then you could be doing your health a major disservice.

A new study suggests that anything more than eight hours in the sack could increase your risk of an early death by up to a third.

Researchers also found that people who sleep too little - less than six hours each night - have an increased risk of dying earlier in life.

sleep

The decade-long study, which was conducted by Warwick University, asked more than one million people about their sleeping habits and continued to monitor this over a period of time.

Researchers found that "long sleepers" (people who sleep for more than eight hours a night) were 30% more likely to die earlier in life than medium sleepers (those who sleep for seven to eight hours).

This steep increase in risk of death is the equivalent to drinking several units of alcohol per day.

Meanwhile "short sleepers" - people who sleep for less than seven hours a night - were 12% more likely to die than medium sleepers.

Additionally, too much sleep can result in health problems such as increased risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes.

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Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine & Epidemiology, Franco Cappuccio, who led the study, added that it should be "taken with a pinch of salt".

"We tend to rely on very simple methods of asking people on average how many hours they sleep a night," he said.

"Naturally, you have to rely on your memory and you don't know if you're reporting time in bed or time asleep and whether you're accounting for naps, and so forth."

Meanwhile Dr Simon Merritt, a consultant of sleep and respiratory medicine at Conquest Hospital, told HuffPost UK Lifestyle that people shouldn't obsess over how much - or little - sleep they're getting. As this only makes things worse.

"The more you try to sleep, the harder it is to sleep. It's a passive process," he said. "People are trying too hard to go to sleep and, as a result, are becoming more awake."

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[H/T Telegraph]