Too little sleep – or too much – may be harmful: study

Darien, IL – Both inadequate and excessive amounts of sleep are linked to chronic disease, concludes a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study was based on a 2010 survey of 54,269 people 45 or older, according to the study abstract. Almost one-third of respondents reported getting too little sleep (six hours or less a night), while 4.1 percent slept too much (10 hours or more). Both groups showed a higher chance of coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes than people with optimal sleep duration – with the association even higher among long sleepers.

In some cases, mental distress and obesity also were factors, leading researchers to suggest that doctors treating people for chronic diseases also monitor their patients’ mental health, weight and sleep patterns.

The optimal amount of sleep is seven to nine hours a night, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which published the study.

The study was published in the October issue of the journal SLEEP.