You know how right about now in the work week, Saturday starts to look really, really good — a long, lazy morning with an extra couple hours of sleep to make up for those late nights working?

Well, STOP! Wake up! Don’t do it!

New research finds that sleeping more than eight hours a night can increase your risk of that final sleep, as in death.

Teams of British researchers studied the self-reported sleep durations of 3,340,684 people. That seems like a pretty good-sized sample.

They found that folks who reported sleeping more than eight hours a night had a greater cardiovascular and mortality risk than those who leaped out of bed after only seven hours of shuteye. Of course, it’s not that they died more often, but they died sooner than shorter sleepers.

Indeed, sleeping 10 hours a night might seem rather appealing by Thursday or even Wednesday some weeks.

But wait! That kind of prolonged slumber was linked to a 30 percent greater risk of dying than a seven-hour napper, a 49 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 56 percent increased risk of dying from a stroke, all of which are bad.

Chun Shing Kwok was the lead researcher for teams from Keele University, the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds and the University of East Anglia. They pored over 74 detailed studies exploring the relationships between sleep duration and sleep quality and the risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease.

He said:

The amount and quality of our sleep is complex.

There are cultural, social, psychological, behavioural, pathophysiological and environmental influences on our sleep such as the need to care for children or family members, irregular working shift patterns, physical or mental illness and the 24-hour availability of commodities in modern society.

Zzzzz. Are you still awake?

He also said their study, which just published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, carried important implications for doctors’ consultations with patients. That if patients reported longer sleep periods, then doctors should consider screening for increased cardiovascular risks.

Now, about our pets who often get only 18 hours of sleep a day.