There are many who do not know this so we wanted to discuss oversleeping: health effects and risks of sleeping too much.
If sleep deprivation does a lot of damage, hypersomnia is not without any health consequences either. Sleeping too much does not guarantee quality sleep.
Heavy sleepers spend an average of more than 9 hours a day in bed.
How to explain this phenomenon? What are the risks?
Tip: Read our other article What are the factors that affect your sleep? Detailed analysis to know more about factors that affect your sleep quality in particular.
Find out below how our bodies react when we sleep too much.
Table of Contents
- 1 Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Introduction
- 2 Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Mental issues
- 3 Oversleeping could lead to depression
- 4 The risk of headaches
- 5 Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Physical issues
- 6 Excessive sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
- 7 The risk of sleep disorders
- 8 Too much sleep shortens our life expectancy
- 9 Hypersomnia: an increased risk of obesity
- 10 Excess sleep: Increased risk of developing diabetes
- 11 Sleeping too much can minimize your chances of getting pregnant
- 12 Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Conclusion
Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Introduction
Saturday, Sunday, vacations, public holidays…
They’re all great opportunities for sleeping in and staying under the covers longer to make up for the fatigue lack of sleep accumulated during the week.
However, I’m sorry to tell you that too much sleep can have negative consequences on your health.
But what does it mean to sleep too much?
If you suffer from hypersomnia, it means you sleep excessively, for example more than 9 hours of sleep per night.
This disorder manifests itself by fatigue for no apparent reason, an inability to get up in the morning and significant sleepiness during the day.
The causes of hypersomnia are numerous (this explains the difficulty of its diagnosis).
Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Mental issues
Oversleeping could lead to depression
Depression and sleep are closely linked.
Having unresolved issues in your life may be one of the reasons you are reluctant to get up.
Indeed, depressed people may use sleep as an escape or coping mechanism and stay in bed longer.
Several published studies that looked at sets of twins found that sleeping too long activated genes linked to depression.
The risk of headaches
Have you ever awoken from a long night’s sleep of more than 9 hours, only to feel foggy in your head, or with a real headache?
The best way to avoid it is to create a regular sleep schedule for yourself.
This means getting to bed and waking up at around the same time every day, even weekends.
Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Physical issues
Excessive sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
Too much sleep could increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Limiting your sleep to six or seven hours a night lowers your risk of death from cardiovascular diseases when compared to those who sleep less or more.
Thankfully, sleep patterns can be adjusted, unlike some risk factors for heart disease that cannot be changed, such as age or genetics.
It is important to talk not just about the quantity of sleep, but also its quality.
Just because you lie in bed for seven hours doesn’t mean you get good quality sleep.
Several studies have found that the risk of stroke is about 50% higher in people who sleep for long periods, even after accounting for other risk factors.
Long periods are more than 8 hours of sleep.
Sleeping too much is not harmful in itself, but it could be a sign that you are not sleeping as efficiently as possible.
Sleeping less efficiently causes you to need more sleep.
If you notice unusual fatigue despite sleeping a lot, it may be time to take care of your heart.
The risk of sleep disorders
If you are tired despite getting a lot of rest, it may be due to your quality of sleep.
For example, your deep sleep phases could be disturbed if your sleep apnea is left untreated.
Acid reflux or hot flashes, as well as a poor sleeping environment can also come into play.
If you can’t rest properly, talk to your doctor.
Too much sleep shortens our life expectancy
Several studies have shown that staying in bed too long shortens our life expectancy!
This should make us forget lying in every weekend.
Several researchers have shown that a person who accumulates many hours of sleep is at rest longer.
The longer you rest, the less active you are.
Because of that, the risk of premature death is multiplied by 3.5.
Other researchers have also revealed that too much sleep is more dangerous for our health than too little.
Sleeping more than 8 hours a night results in about 28% higher risk of mortality than those who are only sleeping between 6 and 8 hours.
Obviously, this risk is amplified by other habits that are harmful to our health, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and unbalanced diet.
Hypersomnia: an increased risk of obesity
You may be at risk for obesity if you sleep too much.
Dozens of published studies suggest that long periods of sleep may be linked to the development of obesity.
By spending more time in bed, you don’t exercise your body through movement, so you burn fewer calories.
Conclusion: you are gaining weight and increasing your risk of becoming obese and all it brings with it.
Excess sleep: Increased risk of developing diabetes
Another consequence of hypersomnia is type 2 diabetes.
It is not uncommon for obesity and diabetes to go hand in hand. This is the case for excessive sleep.
According to several published studies, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with 15% for every addition hour of sleep over 7 hours a night.
Sleeping too much can minimize your chances of getting pregnant
We now know that sleeping preserves our beauty. But if nature doesn’t like moderation, it doesn’t like excess either!
Too much sleep hurts your chances of getting pregnant.
In any case, this is the result of several studies carried out on women in the middle of an in vitro fertilization treatment. It takes into account various parameters that affect fertility.
These include the duration of nighttime sleep, as well as the times at which people get up and go to bed.
The results? A 7-8 hour night’s sleep, with regular bedtime and wake-up times, gives you around 22% more chance of conceiving a baby (good sleep hygiene is important for getting pregnant)!
You may also be interested to know: How does lack of sleep affect the brain and cognitive performance?
Oversleeping: Health effects and risks of sleeping too much | Conclusion
It’s safe to say that sleep is nothing to joke around with. It affects every aspect of your life. From the physical to the cognitive aspects, without the right amount of sleep, we cannot function properly.
Late nights and early mornings are not magically solved by oversleeping all the time. Sleeping too much has its own particular risks too.
Related: Need to put up a guest and want to make sure they have a good night’s sleep? Check our best portable beds page for tips.