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Short sleep ups risk of premature death

London, (IANS) People who sleep for less than six hours each night were 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who get the recommended six to eight hours.

The study by the University of Warwick and Federico II University Medical School, Italy, provides evidence of the direct link between short duration of sleep and an increased chance of dying prematurely.

The research also notes that consistent overlong sleeping (over nine hours a night) can be a cause for concern. While, unlike short sleeping, overlong sleeping does not in itself increase the risk of death, it can be a significant marker of underlying serious and potentially fatal illnesses.

The study looked at the relationship between the level of habitual duration of sleep and mortality by reviewing 16 prospective studies from Britain, the US, European and East Asian countries.

The study included more than 1.3 million participants, followed up for up to 25 years, with more than 100,000 deaths recorded, said a Warwick release.

Francesco Cappuccio, professor the University of Warwick and consultant physician, said: 'Whilst short sleep may represent a cause of ill-health, long sleep is believed to represent more an indicator of ill-health.'

These findings were published in Sleep.

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