People who sleep more than eight hours a day are increasing the risk by 46%

New research shows people who are sleeping more than eight hours a day are increasing their risk of a stroke.

A study, which was published in Neurology, from the University of Cambridge suggests that people who sleep more than the recommended eight hours a day are increasing the risk of a stroke by a massive 46%.

This falls to just 16% if the person has slept less than six hours a day. However, just a small amount of people said that they slept less than six hours, which led the researchers to say that this aspect of the study is inconclusive.

The Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge followed roughly 10,000 people aged 42-81 years old for almost 10 years to reach the conclusion.

"It's apparent both from our own participants and the wealth of international data that there's a link between sleeping longer than average and a greater risk of stroke," said Yue Leng, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge.

However, it still remains unclear why there is a link between sleeping patterns and strokes. Professor Kay-Tee Khaw, a senior author of the study, called for more research into the link.

"We need to understand the reasons behind the link between sleep and stroke risk," she said.

"What is happening in the body that causes this link? With further research, we may find that excessive sleep proves to be an early indicator of increased stroke risk, particularly among older people."