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

A new Parkinson's study appears to validate earlier research that found too much sleep can increase your risk of disease.

Scientists tracked the incidence of Parkinson's among some 85,000 nurses working rotating night shifts in 1988, then conducted follow-up health reports over the next 12 years. Nurses who slept at least nine hours a night were 80 percent more likely to receive a Parkinson's diagnosis.

And those percentages of risk fell as did the time devoted to sleep. Six hours of sleep appears to be the baseline, as eight hours elevated a patient's Parkinson's risks by 60 percent and seven hours increased it by only 10 percent.

Here's the interesting caveat: Working the night shift reduced a patient's Parkinson's risks, and longer stints offered more protection. For example, nurses who worked overnight at least three times a month over 15 years cut their Parkinson's risks in half.

Although oversleeping can be problematic, I suspect most Americans aren't getting the right amount of sleep to help them fight health conditions like diabetes and obesity.

For some helpful non-drug solutions to get the right amount of sleep, you'll want to review my Guide to Getting a Good Night's Sleep.

American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 163, No. 8, April 15, 2006: 726-730

Daily Mail July 11, 2006

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