Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining good health. However, is there a risk of getting too much sleep? While we may be tempted to get long hours of sleep on the weekend, experts suggest that oversleeping can be a sign of more serious health conditions like thyroid disease and heart disease. In addition, the desire to oversleep is now linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
In this article we will discuss how much sleep is too much. We also take a closer look at the causes and effects of oversleeping.
How Much Sleep is Too Much?
Your age usually determines the amount of sleep you need each night. However, your general health, lifestyle habits, and certain disorders can also affect your sleep needs. For example, if you have been particularly active or are going through an illness or stressful life situation, you may need more rest than usual.
Other than these changes, most adults should sleep between 7 and 8 hours a night. The following are the sleep recommendations from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on age.
- Newborn (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours (including napping)
- Toddler (4 to 12 months): 12 to 16 hours (including napping)
- Toddler (1 to 2 years old): 11 to 14 hours (including napping)
- Preschool (3 to 5 years old): 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
- School age (6 to 12 years): 9 to 12 hours
- Teenagers (13 to 18 years old): 8 to 10 hours
- Adults (18 to 65 years old): 7 to 8 hours
Causes of oversleeping
As mentioned above, various factors can lead to excessive fatigue. The following sleep disorders and disorders can lead to sleep disorders.
- Idiopathic hypersomnia: Hypersomnia is also known as excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and causes an extreme need to sleep during the day. The desire to sleep is not satisfied by a nap during the day and often leads to longer sleep periods at night. Hypersomnia is often associated with low energy levels, difficulty concentrating, poor memory retention, and symptoms of anxiety. People with hypersomnia often need 10 to 12 hours of sleep.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This sleep disorder causes breathing to start and stop while you sleep. As a result, people with sleep apnea often experience nocturnal disturbances that affect their normal sleep cycle and lead to an increase in sleep time.
- Depression: Chronic fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of major depression (MDD). In addition, antidepressants can also lead to extreme drowsiness.
- Certain medications: Some medications can cause drowsiness, which increases our need for more sleep at night. Certain recipes can also make it difficult to relax and fall asleep at night. This disrupts the natural circadian rhythm and leads to the desire to oversleep.
- Narcolepsy: The inconsistency of REM sleep and excessive sleepiness often cause people with narcolepsy to oversleep.
- Heart disease: Constant tiredness can be a sign of heart disease. The inability of the heart to pump efficiently can lead to poor blood circulation, low energy levels, and chronic fatigue.
- Thyroid Problems: Thyroid problems can negatively affect energy levels, sleep patterns, and mood. Hypothyroidism causes sluggishness, depression, and fatigue, while hyperthyroidism causes restlessness, irritability, difficulty falling asleep, and anxiety.
Effects of Oversleeping
The health effects of oversleeping are described below.
- Obesity: Research shows that those who regularly sleep 9-10 hours a night are more likely to experience weight gain and obesity.
- Diabetes: Although the research is inconclusive, some studies show a moderate association with diabetes and extended sleep times in middle-aged and older women. A study by the National Library of Medicine tracked 276 people over 6 years and found that people who slept both long and short were more likely to experience glucose intolerance, which leads to diabetes.
- Back pain: Late sleepers are more likely to suffer from pain and joint inflammation, especially in the lumbar spine. This is often due to muscle fatigue that occurs when you rest on your back for long periods of time. Oversleeping on an unsupportive mattress or in an awkward position can also lead to chronic back pain.
- Headache: When you sleep longer than average, there is often a hormonal imbalance that can lead to headaches.
- Anxiety and Depression: Having a consistent sleep schedule will help maintain hormone levels. If we stay in bed longer than necessary, our cortisol, adrenaline, and serotonin levels can become imbalanced, making it difficult for us to deal with stress and anxiety. Over time, this imbalance can lead to depression.
- Heart disease: Studies suggest that both men and women with insufficient or excessive sleep have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a higher rate of death from heart complications.
- Stroke: A 6-year study of 31,750 adults with a mean age of 63 years found that those who slept more than 8 hours a night were 23 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who slept between 7 and 8 hours a night.
- Poor immune function: Sleeping longer can affect the production of cytokines, the group of proteins, peptides, or glycoproteins that support the immune system. As a result, longer than normal sleep times can lead to poor immune function.
Tips to avoid oversleeping
The following tips can help you get a good night’s sleep and avoid the dangerous complications of oversleeping.
- Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule: If you keep a set bedtime and wake-up time, you’ll get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep. Plus, a consistent sleep schedule can prevent hormonal imbalances that can lead to oversleeping. Over time, your body will be conditioned to expect rest during these times, making it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up each morning.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks after 2pm: Drinks with caffeine like soda and coffee can stimulate the nervous system and make it difficult for you to get a peaceful eye. Additionally, coffee can make you feel drowsy rather than alert, which leads to drowsiness during the day. Caffeine has been known to reduce the amount of deep sleep you experience, making it more likely that you will oversleep.
- Create the Perfect Bunker: It is important that your bedroom is as comfortable, quiet, and dark as possible to encourage deep, restful sleep. Install blackout curtains to block the light, use earplugs if outside noise is keeping you awake, and keep electronics away from the bedroom. These changes can help you find a better quality of rest and ensure you don’t oversleep.
- Avoid blue lights: melatonin, the sleep hormone, is triggered by darkness. During the day when we are exposed to sunlight, melatonin production is low to keep us awake. However, as the sun goes down and we are less exposed to light, melatonin increases and we get tired. The blue light from electronic devices can mimic the effects of sunlight and prevent melatonin production, making it harder for us to fall asleep.
- Keep a Sleep Diary: A sleep diary can help you keep track of your sleeping habits and how they affect your mood, behavior, and overall health.
frequently asked Questions
Why do I still feel sleepy after 8 hours of sleep?
If you continue to feel drowsy even after 8 hours of sleep, you may not have had adequate time in deep or REM sleep. These stages of sleep are known to be the most restorative stages as they are responsible for various vital functions, e.g. For repairing muscle tissue, cleaning the brain, and strengthening memory. Without enough time in these sleep phases, you can feel drowsy even after a full night of rest.
Is it unhealthy to sleep during the day and be awake at night?
Sleeping during the day and staying awake at night can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle and cause hormone imbalance. When the production of melatonin, cortisol, and other hormones becomes irregular, normal body functions such as appetite, immune function, and digestion are also disrupted. In addition, an irregular sleep-wake schedule can also make it difficult for us to remain vigilant during the day and sleep naturally at night.
Do I have hypersomnia?
If you are extremely sleepy during the day or sleep late at night, hypersomnia can occur. People with hypersomnia also suffer from anxiety, low energy, loss of appetite, and poor memory. Hypersomnia is often a side effect of another sleep disorder, such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea.
Do You Burn Calories While You Sleep?
Because the body performs important functions during sleep, we naturally burn calories. The amount of calories you burn while you sleep depends on your body weight and metabolism. Typically, a person who weighs 125 pounds burns 38 calories an hour while sleeping. Someone who weighs 185 pounds burns about 56 calories an hour.
What is somniphobia?
Somniphobia, also known as sleep anxiety or sleep anxiety, is the intense fear of sleep or bedtime. This condition often leads to insomnia and anxiety as individuals worry about sleep throughout the day. People with somniphobia typically have sleep paralysis and night terrors.
There’s a fine line between getting enough sleep and getting too much sleep. However, if you listen to your body, follow a consistent sleep schedule, and practice good sleep hygiene, you can get the benefits of a full 8 hours and reduce the risk of oversleeping. If you think your tendency to oversleep is related to a more serious health problem, be sure to discuss these symptoms with your doctor. They may be able to help you create a comprehensive plan for better quality sleep.
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