Why Too Much or Too Little Sleep Is Bad for Your Health

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Results of a new study suggest that sleeping fewer than six hours a night or more 10 hours a night increases your risk for metabolic syndrome – a cluster of symptoms (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels, for example) that increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

This study, which involved 133,608 Korean men and women 40 to 69 years old, was done at the Seoul National University College of Medicine. The researchers determined that:

  • nearly 11 percent of men and 13 percent of the women in the study slept fewer than six hours per night, on average
  • 1.5 percent of the men and 1.7 percent of the women slept more than 10 hours per night
  • 29 percent of men and 24.5 percent of women met the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome affects more than 3 million people in the United States each year, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although the association between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome is not fully understood, elevated levels of hormones that increase appetite and decrease energy expenditure may be involved.

Sourced from: BMC Public Health