When we talk about ways to sleep better, we usually need the advice because we’re not sleeping enough. Maybe insomnia is the issue, or we get stuck in bad eating habits that disturb our slumber.
What many people don’t realize is that there IS such a thing as sleeping too much, and it can do serious damage to your body. The newest of these medical findings? People who regularly sleep for at least nine hours a night are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who spend less than nine hours asleep.
This worrisome news comes from researchers out of the Boston University School of Medicine. They analyzed data from the Framingham Heart Study, a large cohort study that started in 1984 and studied more than 5,000 individuals between 30 and 62 years old. As part of the study, these participants recorded how much they slept each night and went to follow-up doctor appointments to be tested for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Based on these records, BUSM researchers found that prolonged sleep can double the risk of dementia within 10 years.
What’s also interesting is the role education played in the study’s findings. The study’s lead author told Medical News Today that participants without a high school degree were six times as likely to develop dementia in the same 10-year timeframe. So if you have a college degree, you could already be protecting yourself from Alzheimer’s.
If Alzheimer’s and dementia run in your family, educate yourself on the early signs of these diseases and hear what real-life Alzheimer’s patients wish you knew about their condition.