Study: Lack of sleep linked to premature death

May 10, 2010 2:07:05 PM PDT
A new reason to try to get more sleep: A new study finds people who sleep less than six hours a night are 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who get the recommended six to eight hours.

Scientists reporting in the journal Sleep also found that sleeping too much -- that's more than nine hours a night -- doesn't increase the risk for death but might be an important sign of a seriously or potentially fatal illness.

Authors say the findings provide unequivocal evidence of the direct link between insufficient sleep and increased risk of premature death.