US Pharm. 32(11)77-78.

Whether you really like to sleep or you are an insomniac, you may be flirting with a greater chance of dying. According to Finnish researchers, too much sleep or too little sleep can increase mortality risk by about 20% over two decades. They found that men are particularly vulnerable.

Christer Hublin, MD, PhD, of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and colleagues, said that while there is a link between the amount of sleep and mortality, the association is complicated. "The exact mechanisms [between sleep and mortality] remain unclear, and they should be assessed in experimental settings and other longitudinal studies."

The researchers said that a review of past studies shows that the lowest mortality is associated with about seven hours of sleep. There is an increased mortality risk associated with eight or more hours of sleep. One interesting finding was that snoring did not change the results; however, the effect of sleep on mortality did vary by age, and the strong effects were seen in young men.

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