Physical Side Effects of Oversleeping
Medical Problems Linked to Oversleeping continued...
Back pain. There was a time when doctors told people suffering from back pain to head straight to bed. But those days are long gone. You do need to curtail your regular exercise program when you are experiencing back pain. But doctors now realize the health benefits of maintaining a certain level of activity. And they recommend against sleeping more than usual, when possible.
Depression. Although insomnia is more commonly linked to depression than oversleeping, roughly 15% of people with depression sleep too much. This may in turn make their depression worse. That's because regular sleep habits are important to the recovery process. Need another reason not to overdo the ZZZs when you're blue? ? In certain instances, sleep deprivation can have a temporary antidepressant effect.
Heart disease. The Nurses' Health Study involved nearly 72,000 women. A careful analysis of the data from that study showed that women who slept nine to 11 hours per night were 38% more likely to have coronary heart disease than women who slept eight hours. Researchers have not yet identified a reason for the connection between oversleeping and heart disease.
Death. Multiple studies have found that people who sleep nine or more hours a night have significantly higher death rates than people sleeping seven to eight hours a night. No specific reason for this correlation has been determined. But researchers found that depression and low socioeconomic status are also associated with longer sleep. They speculate these factors could be related to the observed increase in mortality for people who sleep too much.
Get the Benefits of Sleep Without Oversleeping
If you average more than seven or eight hours of sleep per night, see a doctor for a checkup. The doctor can help you determine why you oversleep.
If your oversleeping is caused by alcohol or certain prescription medications, cutting back on or eliminating the use of these substances may help. Never stop a prescribed medicine, however, unless instructed to do so by your doctor. Similarly, if your oversleeping is caused by an underlying medical condition, treating this disorder may allow you to return to normal sleep habits.
Regardless of the cause of your oversleeping, practicing good sleep hygiene will help you reap the benefits of a healthy seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Experts recommend keeping the same bedtimes and wake times every day. They also recommend avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Exercising regularly and making your bedroom a comfortable environment that's conducive to sleep will help you get the amount of sleep you need.