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Excess Sleep Can Increase Stroke Risk by 85%

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

too much sleep increase stroke risk

Story at-a-glance -

  • Compared with sleeping seven to eight hours a night, those who slept for nine hours or more had a 23% greater risk of stroke
  • Those who took long midday naps of more than 90 minutes also had a greater stroke risk — by 25% — than those who napped for 30 minutes or less
  • The greatest risk occurred among those who both slept for nine hours or more at night and napped for more than 90 minutes; this combination increased stroke risk by 85%
  • Sleeping for less than seven or more than eight hours per night is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for stroke

While the pitfalls of too little sleep have been well documented, there are also risks of sleeping too much, which is generally defined as more than nine hours a night. Specifically, excessive sleep, along with long midday naps, may increase your risk of stroke, according to a Chinese study involving 31,750 people.

It’s unclear exactly why excess sleep increases stroke risk, but long nappers and sleepers are more likely to have increased waist circumferences and inactive lifestyles, both of which are risk factors for stroke. However, other mechanisms could also be at play, as the relationship between sleep and cardiovascular health is complex and still being explored.


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