Do you often find it hard to get enough nightly sleep? Or maybe you sleep as much as you can every day as your schedule allows? None of these are healthy, and a new study suggests that you may run the risk of metabolic issues.
How much sleep is too much?
First, let’s address what it means to have overslept. The typical gold standard for sleep length has long been regarded as eight hours, and it’s a good median benchmark.
Recent reviews of current research by the National Sleep Foundation experts widen the spectrum a bit. They claim that for most adults between 18 and 64, it’s normal and healthy to sleep somewhere in the range of seven to nine hours.
Some say that closer to seven hours could be even better, like Professor Shawn Youngstedt of Arizona State University, who told the Wall Street Journal, “The lowest mortality and morbidity is with seven hours.” Other researchers also linked seven hours of sleep with things like longevity and better brain health.
The “right” amount of sleep proves to be very specific to the individual because some people on seven hours may feel fantastic, and others may need a little longer. However, in most research, and for most experts, an excessive or prolonged amount of sleep for adults is considered over nine hours.
A study finds that too much sleep can affect health
We all know that too little sleep can have a variety of effects on our health, but to what degree can too much sleep affect our wellbeing?
A study recently conducted by researchers from South Korea’s Seoul National University College of Medicine has found that sleep extreme is likely to raise the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Kim and his colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to determine how metabolic syndrome affects the duration of sleep among adults aged 40 to 69 years.
The researchers calculated the sleep period by asking participants the following question: “In the past year, on average, how many hours/minutes of sleep (including daytime naps) did you take per day?”
The researchers divided the amounts of sleep into four categories:
- less than 6 hours
- 6 hours to 8 hours
- 8 hours to 10 hours
- 10 hours or longer
Participants were identified as having metabolic syndrome if they exhibited at least three of the following criteria: high waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol rates, high blood sugar hypertension, and elevated fasting.
Data showed that men who sleep less than 6 hours were more likely to have metabolic syndrome and heightened waist circumference compared to those who sleep 6 to 8 hours a day. Women who slept under 6 hours were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome.
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome refers to a series of risk factors for a disease that seems to heighten the chances of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. We also call it insulin resistance syndrome.
The syndrome is not a specific condition, but it groups risk factors linked to a higher chance of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes development.
The American Heart Association ( AHA) describes metabolic syndrome as a “cluster of metabolic disorders,” which includes high blood pressure, elevated levels of fasting glucose, and abdominal obesity, combined with an increase in the risk of cardiac disease.
Treating your sleep may improve your health
Restful sleep is an essential part of healthy living. Most people require 7 to 8 hours of sleep for optimal functioning.
With the advancement of technology, getting quality sleep is becoming increasingly challenging. The rise of smartphones and other screens wreak havoc on our sleep levels. These devices make it impossible for the mind to unwind and focus on rest.
Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our sleep specialists at Enticare. We’ll work as a team to identify the source of your sleep problems and help you try to solve them. If you have sleep apnea for sleep or another sleep disturbance that keeps you awake at night, we have treatments to help you regain those precious hours of slumber.