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Oversleeping: 10 Negative Effects Of Sleeping Too Much

Do you enjoy sleeping in on Saturday mornings? Turns out that getting too much sleep, even just on the weekends, can have a detrimental effect on your health.

We all know that not getting enough sleep is bad for us, but oversleeping can be just as damaging.

These 10 Negative Effects Of Sleeping Too Much might just motivate you to get out of bed before noon next weekend.

Sleeping too much can cause...

1. Weight Gain

lose weight

Oversleeping has a powerful impact on how your body stores fat, and it’s ability to lose it.

A study demonstrated just how powerful the effect of sleeping too much is on weight gain: Over a 6-year period, those who slept 10+ hours per night had a 21% greater chance of becoming obese than those sleeping 7-8 hours. [1]

Even more significantly, diet and exercise had no impact on the association between oversleeping and weight gain. So, sleeping in may be cancelling out all your hard work in the gym.​

2. Headaches

headaches

Sleeping too much can trigger headaches and migraines. This phenomenon, known as “weekend headache,” is believed to be caused by a disruption in levels of key neurotransmitters -- such as serotonin.

Likewise, napping so much during the day that it makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep has also been linked with morning headaches.​

3. Back Pain

back pain

If you suffer from back pain, sleeping too long can exacerbate your symptoms. Lying down for extended periods of time -- especially in an unideal position -- causes muscle stiffness, and increases pain.

Doctor’s recommend that people with back pain stay active, and sleeping in can limit the time you have available to spend exercising.​

4. Premature Aging

premature aging of skin

Chronic oversleeping actually causes your brain to age faster! Especially in older adults, spending too much time sleeping has been shown to age your brain by as much as 2 years. [3]

This results in poor concentration, memory and affects your ability to perform basic daily tasks; and may increase your risk of developing mental degenerative disorders.​

5. Heart Disease & Diabetes

diabetes blood test

Studies have shown that sleeping 9-11 hours per night can increase your risk for developing heart disease by as much as 28%. Additionally, oversleeping raises your risk of dying from heart complications by 34%. [4]

Getting too much sleep can increase your blood sugar. Along with a sedentary lifestyle, and weight gain, you’re at an increased risk for developing Type II Diabetes. [5]​

6. Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

While sleep disturbances and depression often go hand in hand, oversleeping has been shown to have a negative impact on the recovery process. [6]

Overall, people who sleep over 10 hours per night score lower on measures of mental health and mood than those who sleep normal amounts. [7]

Establishing healthy sleep patterns is recommended to help reduce symptoms of depression.​

7. Circadian Rhythm Disorder

woman suffering from sleepwalking disorder

Circadian Rhythm Disorders occur when your internal clock gets out of sync with a natural day-night schedule. These disorders result in trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Oversleeping can lead to the development of Circadian Rhythm Disorders by impacting your exposure to light -- the most important cue your body clock uses to determine your sleep-wake schedule. [8]​

8. Fatigue

negative effects of sleeping too much

Longer periods spent in bed are associated with more frequent awakenings, and overall less restful sleep.

In turn, daytime fatigue has negative consequences on all aspects of your life: decreasing your mood, impairing cognitive abilities, and even raising your risk of having an accident. [9]​

9. Decrease Fertility

baby sleeping

The release of hormones -- including those involved in reproduction -- are heavily influenced by our sleep-wake schedule.

Women who oversleep while undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments are 43% less likely to conceive than those who sleep a moderate amount. The effect was nearly as high as for those getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night (46%). [10]​

10. Death

death due to sleeping too much

Epidemiological studies have shown a strong link between chronic oversleeping and premature death.

While the exact cause of the relationship is unknown, many researchers point to raised levels of inflammation, as well as increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and obesity as the contributing factors.​

Now that you know what the real impact of oversleeping is, you might be wondering how much sleep you should be getting.

Remember, as with most things, moderation is the key to getting a healthy amount of sleep. If sleep disturbances are affecting your sleep-wake schedule, incorporating sleep hygiene practices into your daily routine can help you get back on track.​

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