Too Much Sleep Can Kill You
Jan 27, 2016
The expression “dead tired” seems to be pretty realistic.
According to a list that was released by scientists at the end of 2015, some behaviors may increase the risks of an early death. Among them: excessive sleep periods.
It is generally known that a diet that lacks protein, an excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking can cause an untimely death. However, scientists have now included other factors that may also negatively affect our life expectancy, such as sitting for more than seven hours per day or sleeping more than is actually necessary.
Some scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia have analyzed these behavioral patterns and according to the data that they’ve obtained and published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the results are alarming.
A person who shows all the behaviors highlighted previously is five times more likely to die earlier in a period of six years than someone who is leading a healthier life without engaging in any of these excessive habits.
Sitting for a long time, hardly any exercise and sleeping for more than nine hours a day could pretty much be considered fatal. According to the scientists, this kind of behavior is responsible for almost one third of deaths that have been analyzed in the study.
More than 230,000 people at the age of 45 years have participated in this study over a period of six years.
"In order to examine specific patterns of lifestyle and risk behavior, 96 variables were established representing all the possible combinations of smoking, consuming too much alcohol, lack of exercise, unbalanced diet, sleep deprivation and excessive sleeping as well as too many hours of sitting around.”, stated Dr. Melody Ding of the University of Sydney.
"Excessive sleep periods and sleep deprivation were separated into two different risk factors, for their connection to mortality can be explained by different mechanisms. The analysis included and examined four risk factors that were already known as well as two that were completely new: Sitting around for an excessive period and too much sleep. "
This new study was published after US researchers had warned the public about the dangers of spending too much time in front of the television. This habit is related to the eight major causes of death in the United States, such as cancer, hepatitis and Parkinson's.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Michigan found that people who watch more than 3 hours of television a day, are not only at a higher risk of suffering from cancer or heart problems - commonly associated with a sedentary lifestyle - but are also more likely to develop diabetes, pneumonia, Parkinson's disease or hepatitis.
Moreover, people who show these behavioral patterns are 15% more likely to die from common complications than a person who spends less than an hour in front of the TV.
At the beginning of 2015, the University of Cambridge warned the population of the dangers of sleeping more than eight hours a day. The scientists discovered that excessive sleep could double the chances of having a stroke.
What is still unclear though, is whether the people that participated in the study were sleeping more because they were already sick or if the extra hours of sleep had a negative impact on their body.
The sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley, however, ensures that too much sleep can be harmful, especially if someone tries to catch up on last night’s sleep. He believes that one has to find the perfect balance.
Even though excessive sleep alone is not the biggest concern, it still hinders us from leading a healthy life. It makes it difficult to keep track of sport activities during the day and to manage a healthy diet.