More than Seven Hours of Sleep Per Night Increases Your Risk of Brain Disease

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July 25, 2006 | 39,993 views

A study from the National Institutes of Health found that those who sleep nine hours or more each night are almost twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as those who sleep six hours or less.

The More Sleep, the Greater the Risk

The health of 80,000 nurses, none of whom had Parkinson's disease at the beginning of the study, were tracked for 24 years. Analysis of the 181 women who developed Parkinson's during the course of the study showed that the longer they slept, the greater risk they had of developing the illness.

Nurses who slept at least nine hours a night were 80 percent more likely to receive a Parkinson's diagnosis, while eight hours elevated the risk by 60 percent and seven hours increased it by only 10 percent.

Night Shifts

Working night shifts, however, reduced the risk. Longer stints offered more protection; nurses who worked overnight at least three times a month cut their Parkinson's risks in half. Previous studies have demonstrated that those who work night shifts have lower levels of the hormones melatonin and oestradiol, which may contribute to the development of Parkinson's at high levels.

Symptoms of Parkinson's include tremors and muscle stiffness, and eventually speech, facial expression and balance can be affected.

This appears to validate earlier research indicating that too much sleep can increase your risk of disease. In fact, both too much and too little sleep can be problematic for your health.

Several years ago I posted a study that suggested less than eight hours of sleep will not hurt your health. But now we find that regularly sleeping more than eight hours may actually harm you.

However, while oversleeping can cause problems, I suspect most Americans are actually getting too little sleep, putting them at risk for conditions like diabetes, aging and obesity. Many, many studies have linked our 24/7 lifestyles to a lack of sleep that's had a devastating effect on the U.S. population's health.

The real key is to get the optimal amount of sleep every night. However, it's important to do so without taking a health-harming drug; they do more harm than good.

If you're having any trouble sleeping, I urge you to review my secrets for good sleep, which includes tips such as:

  • Get to bed as early as possible. Our systems, particularly the adrenals, do a majority of their recharging or recovering during the hours of 11PM and 1AM. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.


  • Keep the temperature in the bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly the upstairs bedrooms too hot.


  • Lose weight. Being overweight can increase the risk of sleep apnea, which will prevent a restful nights sleep. Take a look at my diet recommendations.


  • Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes everyday can help you fall asleep. However, don't exercise too close to bedtime, or it could keep you awake. Exercising in the morning is the best if you can do it


  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful for the body to be awoken suddenly. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock. The Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 provides an ideal way to wake up each morning if you can't wake up with the real sun. It comes with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, simulating a natural sunrise.



    [+]Sources and References [-]Sources and References