Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
August 8, 2018

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Scientists warn of the health risks of getting too much sleep

Sleeping more than eight hours a night could increase the risk of premature death, according to a new study.

sleepA study by researchers from Keele University, along with colleagues at the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds and the University of East Anglia, found that people who sleep for 10 hours a night were 30% more likely to die prematurely than those who slept for seven hours.

The report, which looked at 74 studies involving more than 3 million people also found that sleeping for more than 10 hours a day was linked to a 56% increased risk of dying from a stroke and a 49% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The study also found that poor sleep quality was associated with a 44% increase in coronary heart disease.

“Our study has an important public health impact in that it shows that excessive sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk,” said Lead Researcher Dr Chun Shing Kwok from Keele University’s Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine.

“Our findings have important implications as clinicians should have greater consideration for exploring sleep duration and quality during consultations. If excessive sleep patterns are found, particularly prolonged durations of eight hours or more, then clinicians should consider screening for adverse cardiovascular risk factors and obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.”

There have also been several reports published recently, which have warned of the dangers of not getting enough sleep.

In April, SHP Online reported that a US study warned how shift workers who do not get enough sleep and at the wrong time of the day, could be at greater risk of developing diabetes and associated weight problems.

And earlier this month, Marcus de Guingand, Managing Director, Third Pillar of Health examined the impact fatigue was having on British police officers.

“The important message is that 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,” added Dr Kwok.

“Sleep affects everyone. The amount and quality of our sleep is complex. 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.”

The full study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago

Odd how there’s so many contradicting statements regarding sleep. I’ve read plenty of reports saying anything less than 7 hours a night leads to exactly the same result as this “studies” 10 hour limit.

Nigel Evelyn-Dupree
Nigel Evelyn-Dupree
3 years ago

Not odd at all, as not exactly counter intuitive that, any extremes from too little stress to too much stress applies to about everything including human resources as, with any other architecture or machine, maintaining a balance, some equilibrium that is both sustainable and optimises performance / productivity will need some “given” ideal standard conditions for functionality.