A good night’s sleep is essential for health and not getting enough sleep is bad for health. Getting a good night’s sleep makes a big difference in how you feel. But few may know that oversleeping or sleeping too much has its own set of side effects. Getting more sleep than required may not leave you refreshed and energized, but rather you might feel more lethargic or unmotivated.(1)
Researches often suggest that depression and low socioeconomic status are strongly associated with oversleeping. This can further lead to other health effects, such as heart disease, undiagnosed illnesses, which may further lead to oversleeping.
8 Negative Effects of Oversleeping
- Oversleeping Results in Weight Gain (2,3): Oversleeping plays a major role in how the body stores fat and its ability to lose it. A study demonstrated, how those who slept more than 10 hours in a day had 21% more chances of becoming obese than those who slept only 7-8 hours. Sleeping may actually cancel all the physical activity or the hard work done for burning calories.
- Oversleeping Can Cause Back Pain (3,4): If you keep lying especially in any uncomfortable position it can cause muscle stiffness and pain in the back. If you are already suffering from back pain oversleeping might exacerbate the pain. In olden times doctors would recommend the people suffering from back pain to rest. This perspective has changed now, people with back pain need to stay active and sleeping would just decrease the time they can give to their physical activity.
- Premature Aging Due to Excessive Sleeping: Oversleeping may cause the brain to age faster, especially in the elderly. Studies done on it depict spending too much time on sleeping can age the brain fast as much as by 2 years.(5)
- Excessive Sleeping Increases the Risk of Heart Disease: Sleeping too much can increase the risk of developing heart disease or dying from cardiovascular disease.(6) A study conducted on few participants displayed that those who slept more than 8 hours demonstrated a 34% increase in the risk of dying from heart disease. Heart disease risk is posed to both over sleeper and those who sleep less. To keep the heart working in good order, a proper amount of good quality sleep is very important.
- Oversleeping Hinders Recovery from Depression: Depression is most often linked with insomnia i.e. lack of sleep. It is observed that most of the people with depression sleep a lot too and this, in turn, worsens depression. Oversleeping negatively affects the recovery process of depression.(7) Also, people sleeping more than 10 hours score low on the measures of mental health and mood.(8) Improving sleep patterns are very important to bring in an improvement in the symptoms.
- Fatigue Can Occur As A Result of Excessive Sleeping: The longer the time you spend on the bed, more disturbed is the sleep, due to frequent awakenings. This, in turn, leads to fatigue during the day time. Day time fatigue has a negative impact on the overall aspect of life. It can decrease the mood, impair cognitive ability, and can even increase the risk of accidents (9)
- Death: Various studies show an increase in premature death due to excessive amounts of sleep, from cardiovascular and other diseases (6). People who sleep more than 9 hours have higher death rates than those who sleep for 7- 8 hours.
- Oversleeping Can Lead to Headache: Excessive sleeping can trigger headaches.(10) This can occur due to disruption in the level of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. Napping a lot during the day time can make it difficult to fall asleep at night, which can cause morning headaches.
Moderation is the key to stay healthy. Neither too much nor too less, an adequate amount of sleep keeps you active and fit throughout the day. Sleep well stay healthy.