Is Too Much Sleep Bad for You?
Enjoying regular restful sleep is essential to our health and well-being. While sleeping, our body recovers from daily activity. Our brain and nervous system consolidates the information it collects throughout a given day. The average person should sleep about 8 hours per day. Not getting enough rest has negative consequences on our health. But many people wonder, is too much sleep bad for you?
Getting an extra few hours sleep can be beneficial to help us recover when we are overtired or unwell. However, how much sleep is too much? Find out all you need to know in this oneHOWTO article.
Is too much sleep bad for us?
Sleep is a vital human need that helps maintain our biological rhythms. Each person is different and needs a certain amount of sleep depending on age, genetics, health and many other factors. Even so, it is considered that an adult of normal physical activity levels and cognitive function requires between 7 and 9 hours of sleep to be rested and maintain health.
Common disorders such as chronic insomnia, sleep apnea or uncoordinated sleep periods have been widely studied. At present, there are different treatments for people who suffer from them. Faced with these situations, the opposite case also occurs, i.e. those who sleep too much. This is an aspect of sleep studies which is only beginning to be known and studied. Although it seems that the more we sleep, the better, the reality points to the fact that sleeping a lot is not always a guarantee of optimal health.
For this reason, we need to look at both the reasons why we may sleep too much and what effects these will have on our health.
Improper sleeping patterns
Among the possible negative consequences of excessive sleep, experts and researchers point out a factor which is considered poorly restorative sleep. At first, sleeping a lot may seem like a good thing. However, you may be sleeping so much because there is a problem that triggers fatigue and makes you feel you need to continue sleeping. Acute stress or breathing difficulties can mean spending more than 10 hours in bed, you keep waking up tired.
To help sleep better at night, we can also look at the best sleeping positions for a good night's rest.
Brain problems affecting excessive sleep
Brain damage is a possible and serious consequence of sleeping in excess. Recent studies carried out by the University of Science and Technology of Huazhong (China) indicate that sleeping more than 9 hours at night and naps of more than 90 minutes on a regular basis, as well as other factors such as unhealthy lifestyle habits, could increase the risk of suffering from a brain problem.
Although it seems contradictory, sleeping more than 9 or 10 hours as a habit can cause us to be sleepy when awake. Entering a sleep spiral not only has health consequences, it can affect our mental health. On a practical level, it can affect our work, impair driving or even negatively influence our social relationships.
Being sleepy during the day is common for many of us. Here we show you come of the changes you can implement to best avoid daytime sleepiness.
It is estimated that sleeping excessively and leading a sedentary life could be triggers for metabolic problems. This can influence the appearance of diseases such as obesity or even the onset of diabetes. This usually occurs alongside other health and lifestyle issues.
Take a look at our article on whether sleeping late can make your gain weight to see more effects of excessive sleeping patterns.
Increased cholesterol and associated problems
As in the previous case, sleeping too many hours without an objective need can negatively influence our body. When coupled with a lack of physical exercise, it can cause healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood to increase to unhealthy levels. This can cause many secondary health problems, not least potentially fatal cardiovascular issues.
Sleeping a lot won't necessarily trigger depression. However, it can be a way to mask it. If we feel tired and cannot get out of bed, the problem might not be physical (or at least not purely physical). When our mental health is poor, it can have an effect on our body, leading to sleeping too much. We may also experience a lack of motivation to meet the challenges of a given day.
Physical problems exacerbated by sleep can also influence depression. For example, back pain can cause serious mental anxiety. Knowing how to sleep with lower back pain can help mitigate these effects.
In any case, sleeping a lot occasionally shouldn't indicate any problem, especially if you have a reason for being overtired. However, if it happens a lot over time, we will need to seek a medical consultation. We may have an undiagnosed condition which is affecting our sleeping patterns. These can range from immune deficiencies to organ disease.
Even if we do not have a physical problem, going to the doctor can help us to build a healthy routine for our sleep patterns. They can help us to improve our lifestyle and adive on eating better, exercise and other factors which can contribute to better sleep.
Once you make changes, you may still have sleeping issues. These can stem from various issues, including how you sleep. Explore our article on how to avoid sleeping on your stomach to see one possible reason you aren't sleeping well.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Is Too Much Sleep Bad for You?, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.
- American Academy of Neurology Journals.