Most people understand that not getting enough sleep (seven to nine hours per night) isn’t good for their health. Some people even know that getting too much sleep can be problematic as well. But, did you know that getting too much or too little can lead to the same problems?
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that getting 10 hours or more of sleep or less than six hours can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity and anxiety in those aged 45 and over.
For their study, the CDC researchers examined data on over 54,000 people aged 45 and over living in 14 states of the US.
The data showed 31% of the participants were “short sleepers” who slept an average of 6 hours or less in a 24-hour period, over 65% were “optimal sleepers” who slept 6 to 9 hours on average, and 4% were “long sleepers” who slept an average of 10 hours or more.
When they analyzed the relationships between sleep and health, the team found that compared with optimal sleepers, short sleepers tended to suffer more from coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as obesity and frequent mental distress.
They found the same was true of long sleepers, except in their case, links with coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes were even stronger.
CDC researchers involved in the study said the findings suggest doctors looking after patients with chronic diseases should think about keeping a check on the patients’ sleep quality as well as their mental health and body weight.
The findings of the research were published in the journal SLEEP.