Study warns oversleep can lead to an early death

People who sleep for 10 hours are 30% more likely to die prematurely

A new study is warning that oversleeping could lead to a premature death.

The research, published in the journal of the American Heart Foundation, found that people who sleep for 10 hours are 30% more likely to die prematurely than those who sleep for eight.

The study warns that staying in bed for ten hours or longer is linked to a 56% increase in the risk of death by stroke and a 49% increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Poor sleep quality was associated with a 44% increase in coronary heart disease.

Experts generally recommend that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.

For older people, seven to eight hours is recommended.

The World Health Organisation recommends eight hours for an adult.

The AHA study examined data from 74 studies involving over three million people.

Lead researcher Dr Chun Shing Kwok said GPs should ask patients about their sleeping habits during appointments.

"Abnormal sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk and greater consideration should be given in exploring both duration and sleep quality during patient consultations,” he said.

"There are cultural, social, psychological, behavioural, pathophysiological and environmental influences on our sleep such as the need to care for children or family members, irregular working shift patterns, physical or mental illness, and the 24-hour availability of commodities in modern society."

Researchers warned that the study was limited as duration of sleep was self-reported and that underlying mental or physical conditions may have had an impact on "extreme sleep patterns."