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Is Oversleeping Bad For Your Health?

Posted by on February 9, 2020 in Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

By Raj Goud

Whether you are sleeping too little or too much, both are immensely harmful and can be linked to a range of chronic diseases. More than sufficient sleep is anything for about 9 hours. You need more sleep when you have a disrupted sleep cycle due to overload of work, drug abuse, distractions or natural problems. Sleeping less has always been spoken about and its most common effects are excessive daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, and lower concentration ability. On the other end of the spectrum, oversleeping also comes with its own risks and can be considered as a symptom of various medical conditions.

In the past decade, the NSF (National Sleep Foundation) has declared that 7-9 hours of sleep is normal and healthy for people aged 18 to 65 years. Sleeping for more than a normal duration does not give you more energy to go through the day or be sharper. Rather it comes with downsides such as laziness and disorientation. Multiple trends have arisen connecting excessive sleep with increased rates of mortality and lifespan reduction. 

If this unhealthy lifestyle is maintained then there is a higher chance of catching any of the following issues:

  • Increased risk of heart disease and stroke – NAHNES has deduced that Angina (reduced blood flow causing chest strain) is associated with people sleeping more than 9 hours.
  • Increased risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • Depression, drowsiness, and carelessness – People are more likely to suffer from persistent sadness.
  • Higher chances of suffering from obesity – statistics show an average increase of 2 kg over 3 years for people who sleep more. This advocates the fact that excessive sleep can affect the rate of metabolism.
  • Increased body pain and inflammation of specific muscles – prolonged lying down leads to back pain and an increase in CRP (C-reactive proteins) levels respectively. The body becomes sore due to inactivity.
  • Cognitive impairment – People sleeping for 7 hours show moderate cognitive functionality, whereas more or less than 7 hours of sleep show significantly lower cognitive functionality. 
  • Impaired fertility – When your body is resting and you are asleep, there is a major alteration in hormone levels because some completely stop secreting, some over secrete and some under secrete. The fact that fertility is very closely related to hormonal activity and usage, makes it all the more important to only provide necessary amounts of sleep and nothing in excess.

Mental Side effects of oversleeping 

When your brain is functioning fewer than 10 percent and physical activity is completely shut down, you are in a state known as ‘Sleep’. When the brain and body are left in this state for an elongated period of time, the change in neurotransmitter activity, brain cells firing rate, and brain activity can cause adverse effects on one’s mental state. 

Keep reading to learn about such problems:

  • Sleep Hangover – This is a phenomenon that creates a repetitive sleeping cycle even after catching up on 9-10 hours of sleep. Imagine sleeping from 12 am to 9 am, waking up, and then going back to sleep till 2 pm. This is a major problem and leads to perpetual long naps. The best way to avoid this is to power through the moment you first wake up.
  • Brain functionality Impairment – There are multiple brain training platforms like Peak, Elevate, Lumosity and CogniFit that assist in measuring the brain’s cognitive ability and functionalities. Too much sleep can reduce learning ability, information processing ability, and memory. This software’s help gives you an idea of the level of impact.
  • Anxiety and Depression – People suffering from depression either resort to distractions that divert their minds or sleep it off for as long as they can. They literally follow the route of unconsciousness to figure an escape from all the sadness. Even anxious people resort to curling up into bed and sleeping for as long as they can to curb the negative and discomforting effects. All this backfires because as they wake up, they do not feel any difference and instantly knock out again.

Treatments to avoid Oversleeping

By now we know that excessive sleeping is harmful to health and can lead to different branches of issues ranging from temporary and permanent to mental and physical harm. These methods can help you to somehow wake up on time, restrict yourself from extra sleep and maintain a constant healthy sleep cycle. 

Some of the basic remedies could be:

  • Alarms – Setting an alarm clock at the far end of your room. This will make you wake up, walk to it and shut it off, which is enough time to awaken yourself and get moving.
  • Reduce intoxicants – Intoxicants such as alcohol, marijuana, and drugs shut your body down and make the body/mind demand for excessive sleep. When you completely cut back or give up these habits, your body and mind will automatically regulate your sleep cycle back to normal ways.

Some more advanced and effective remedies can be the following:

  • Constant Sunlight – The architecture of your room should be such that the window and bed are aligned to the direction in which the sun rises. As the sun rises, the rays shine on your face and body, making you feel the heat and extreme brightness. This is a great natural solution for people who cannot wake up via alarms or reminders.
  • Increased physical activity – Go for a jog, walk, run or to the gym at least 4 hours before calling it a night. The increase in endorphin levels rejuvenates your body much quicker when asleep, as compared to when awake. Endorphins increase brain activity in multiple ways. For example, it is associated with the flushing out of toxins from the brain when a person is asleep. Thus, when they wake up, they will feel fresh, energetic, and proactive and are looking forward to going about their day rather than sleep more.
  • Adjust your bed, room temperature, and social media habits – If your bed or mattress is not comforting enough, then due to disturbed sleep at night you will not wake up in the morning and would ask for more time as your body needs to complete rest. Also, make sure that there are no external disturbances and your ambiance is perfect for sleep. Some sleep scientists have deduced that setting the room temperature to anything between 60 and 68 degrees is ideal for sleeping.

While every person has individual sleep requirements, it is crucial to consider universally approved sleep durations. If the work of professionals and expert researchers are not considered, then expect to suffer from some problem at any point in your life. The great news is that you are in complete control avoiding oversleeping. Rather than letting oversleeping reflect in the form of bad health, cure it by allocating yourself a sleep schedule. 

If not followed, then punish yourself in ways that would want you to not make the same mistake again. Must consult a doctor for any serious issue, he can prescribe the best medicine for the oversleeping disorder. It is possible that a few weeks will pass while trying to get in sync with your new rhythm. But it is way better than suffering from sleeping disorders for the remaining decades that you have left to live.

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