The Dangers Of Sleeping Too Much

Can it be true? You can really get too much sleep? It really is. While lounging around in bed may seem like a luxurious thing to do, it is a dangerous proposition when it is done too often.

The Fine Line of Sleep

a woman sleeps on some booksIt can’t be argued that the body needs sleep. Deep sleep, also known as REM sleep, is the only time our brains have a chance to recoup and build up reserves. A lack of sleep is certainly a bad thing, so it would seem like getting as much as possible would be a good thing, but there is a fine balance. Adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. Skipping or skimping on sleep one day and trying to catch up the next doesn’t work out well either. It needs to be regular, and as close to the same time each day as possible for the best results. Infants, children and teens need more.

What are The Risks of Sleeping Longer than Recommended?

Sleeping too much can actually make you more tired. When you sleep longer than usual it isn’t uncommon to wake up feeling groggy and sluggish, and the feeling of fatigue can last for hours. Some people mistake that feeling for needing more sleep, and go back to bed in an effort to relieve the feeling. Instead, they set up a perpetual spiral of fatigue and impaired abilities to function. Those feelings are mild compared to the serious issues that too much sleep can create. These include:

• Intellectual impairment
• Depression
• Increased inflammation and pain
• Fertility problems
• Greater risk of obesity, diabetes, stroke and heart disease
• Greater risk of early death

Morning headaches can also be the result of too much or too little sleep. People subject to migraines may experience an increase in the number of events and the severity of the migraine when they get too much sleep.

Genuine Fatigue or Sleep Disorder

People who occasionally oversleep may genuinely be tired from an extra workload or stressful event. Even occasional oversleeping can lead to a pattern of sleeping too much, but usually someone who indulges in a few extra hours of sleep once or twice resumes a healthy sleep schedule immediately afterwards. Sometimes, sleeping too much is a long-term pattern that may point to an underlying sleep disorder. It is important to know how much sleep is proper, and what is too much. A lack of proper sleep can be just as dangerous as getting too much.

Mental illness such as depression can be caused by too much sleep, but they can also be the instigator where the depression comes first and leads to sleeping too much. Other disorders, such as hypersomnia, causes extreme fatigue during the day. Where hypersomnia makes people feel tired, narcolepsy actually makes them fall asleep even in the middle of activities throughout the day. Both of these real medical issues can still cause the same side effects of too much sleep such as: memory problems, anxiety, depression and a lack of energy.

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