Oversleeping is a common problem that can have severe repercussions if not addressed.
Yet, the potential benefits of a few extra winks are impossible to ignore while we continue to climb up ever-taller ladders of success in our personal and professional lives.
Finding the right amount of sleep and consistently achieving it can be difficult. Therefore, reflecting upon one’s sleeping habits can go a long way in ensuring future well-being.
By educating oneself about good sleep patterns and practicing those patterns, oversleeping can become a thing of the past. Educating helps in consistent, healthy, restorative sleep, which is vital for our physical and mental health.
Health Issues Related to Oversleeping
Studies have proven that getting more than your required hours of sleep each night can be just as damaging as not getting enough.
Let’s look at six effects and health risks associated with sleeping too much.
Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
If you are already prone to depression or anxiety, sleeping too much can aggravate these symptoms.
Studies show that those who sleep more than nine hours per night are more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety than those who get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
It is believed that excessive sleep causes the body’s hormones to become imbalanced, leading to increased levels of serotonin and cortisol—the hormones responsible for mood swings.
Sleeping too much can also lead to memory loss or difficulty concentrating. This is because when we get more sleep than necessary, our bodies don’t go through the full range of stages of restful sleep needed for proper cognitive function.
As a result, our brains remain inactive, making it difficult for us to remember information or focus on tasks at hand.
Poor Physical Health
In addition to mental health issues, sleeping too much can also lead to poor physical health.
For example, those who consistently get more than nine hours of sleep per night are at greater risk for stroke and heart disease. This happens due to their lack of physical activity during the extra hours spent in bed.
They may also be more likely to gain weight as they consume fewer calories when they are asleep than when they are awake and active throughout their day.
Those who sleep too much may also be more likely to gain weight due to impaired metabolism. This is caused by overeating in bed combined with decreased physical activity due to extra time spent resting instead of exercising or being active throughout the day.
Additionally, those who get excessive amounts of sleep tend to make poorer food choices due to fatigue from extended restfulness periods. And this, combines with feeling groggy during the day from oversleeping.
Heart Disease & Stroke Risk
In addition to mental health effects, oversleeping has been linked to increased cardiovascular disease and stroke risk in some individuals.
One study found that women who slept nine or more hours a night were 38% more likely to die from heart disease than those who slept seven or eight hours per night.
Meanwhile, men who slept 11 hours a night were twice as likely to die from stroke than those who got six or fewer hours of sleep per night.
It is unclear why this occurs. However, it could be due to hormonal disruptions related to stress levels which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke over time if left unchecked.
Lethargy & Lack of Focus
Another potential consequence of sleeping too much is lethargy and lack of focus during the day when you should be awake instead.
Since your body’s natural circadian rhythms are disrupted by sleeping too much at night, you may feel groggy and unfocused during times when you should be alert and productive—such as at work or school.
It could affect your performance over time if not appropriately addressed.
As you can see, there are many effects and health risks associated with sleeping too much that you should consider before hitting snooze several times each night.
If you find yourself sleeping longer than necessary regularly, speak with your doctor about possible changes to achieve the optimal amount of restful sleep without putting yourself at risk for any adverse side effects or health concerns down the road.
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