Is It Possible To Sleep Too Much? 6 Things That Happen When You Get Too Much Rest
We all know how important sleep is, so it would feel correct to assume that the more sleep you get, the better. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing, and this includes sleep. There are a number of surprising things that can happen when you sleep too much, which is important to keep in mind if you're someone who likes to doze off deep into the day. Although this doesn't give you an excuse to stay up all night, you also don't want to overdo it when it comes to getting rest.
When it comes to getting good sleep, it seems that between seven to nine hours is the sweet spot, according to research from the National Sleep Foundation. "There is evidence that both long sleep of more than nine hours, and short sleep, of less than 5 hours, are associated with increases in all time mortality," sleep expert and psychiatrist Dr. Alex Dimitriu tells Bustle. "So it does appear that sleeping too much, or too little, can be associated with negative health outcomes."
Even though it might feel good to sleep for long periods of time, you don't want to put your risk at health. Here are six surprising things that can happen when you get too much sleep, according to experts.
1. A Hangover-Like Effect
Ever felt groggy and out of it after a long night of sleep? It's not in your head. "In the short-term, sleeping too much can cause a hang-over like effect, with sleepiness lasting throughout the day," says Dr. Dimitriu. Some scientists even call this "sleep drunkenness," according to Wired. This sleepy daze is a result of your body's natural circadian rhythm being thrown out of whack.
When you sleep too much, you're far less likely be tired when it comes to bedtime, and this can lead to issues falling asleep. "Getting too much sleep can result in subsequent insomnia on the following night," says Dr. Dimitriu. "The body simply isn’t ready to go back to sleep, after, say, eight hours of wakefulness."
3. Increased Risk Of Heart Disease And Stroke
Sleeping too much each night can increase your risk of early death from heart disease and stroke, according to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. This is especially true if you are getting more than 10 hours of sleep per night. The study found that participants who slept for 10 hours were 30 percent more likely to die and nearly 50 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. "Sleeping too much often leaves too little time in the day for anything else, so productivity, exercise, and social networking can suffer," says Dr. Dimitriu. If you are having difficulty waking up after sleeping extensively, speak to your doctor about why you may be feeling so fatigued.
Just as too little sleep is linked with increased risk of depression, so is too much sleep, according to research published in the journal Sleep. In this case, it's hard to pinpoint causality, as sleeping a lot can also be a symptom of depression. "Requiring too much sleep, in some cases, can be associated with medical conditions including illness, depression, sleep apnea, or endocrine problems, which will negatively impact health," says Dr. Dimitriu. "In these cases, the long sleep pattern is likely an outcome rather than cause of poor health, but an important marker, nonetheless."
5. Increased Risk Of Diabetes
Sleeping too long can increase your risk of diabetes, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, the research suggests that it’s because too much (or too little) sleep affects the body's ability to respond to the levels of glucose in the blood, which can put you at risk for the disease. In this particular study, this effect was shown to be predominantly in men, but additional studies have found the same increased risk in women as well.
Overdoing it on your nightly slumber can also lead to some head pain, especially if you are someone who is already prone to headaches, according to WebMD. This is believed to be caused by a disruption in serotonin levels, and it is especially likely to occur when sleeping in later than usual.
Most people struggle with lack of sleep rather than too much sleep, but if you're someone who sleeps more than nine hours a night, you might want to consider these potential health risks.