Many of us don’t get enough sleep – failing to get about seven hours of sleep every night. Oftentimes, when we do, we tend to oversleep, thinking we can make up for the times we didn’t get enough zzz’s. It may sound hard to believe, but yes, you can overdo sleeping.
While there’s still debate on the right amount of sleep adults need every day, it is recommended that you don’t go over eight hours. If you regularly get nine hours or more every night, this may be a sign that you’re suffering from a medical condition. Additionally, this can be a risk factor for several health concerns.
Biggest Risks of Too Much Sleep
While not enough sleep can cause health problems, there are also negative effects if you sleep too much. These side effects can include the following:
1. Depression: In 2014, adult twins were the subject of a research. It was discovered that longer sleep duration can increase the risk of symptoms of depression. The participants slept from seven to nine hours every night and they had an increased risk of 27% for depressive symptoms. Meanwhile, those who had at least nine hours had 49% increased risk.
2. Brain Impairment: Meanwhile, a 2012 study on elderly women discovered that both sleeping too much and too little can worsen the functionality of the brain. This generally starts after a six-year period of not having enough sleep or oversleeping. Women who slept nine hours or more and those who slept less than five displayed signs that their brain works like older people.
3. Infertility: A Korean research team observed over 650 women back in 2013. They discovered that those who slept for seven to eight hours had the highest rates for pregnancy. Meanwhile, those who had nine to 11 suffered a problem with getting pregnant. This can be due to the changes in circadian rhythms as well as in menstrual cycles and hormone secretions.
4. Diabetes: A six-year study in Quebec was conducted to analyze the people who slept for more than eight hours. The researchers found out that these people have higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Others had problems with their glucose tolerance.
In 2014, NASA funded a research where Drew Iwanicki had to stay in bed for 70 days – no sitting up, no napping, and no getting out of bed no matter what.
Although he did not acquire any health problems at that time, too much bed rest can indeed damage the body, according to scientists. In extreme cases, it can even kill people. In fact, about 60,000 Americans die because of too much sleeping, inactivity, or bed rest.