Are You Getting Too Much Sleep?
It has been recognised for a long time that a good night of sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle. A ‘good’ night can vary from person-to-person, however, the National Sleep Foundation state that anywhere between seven to nine hours is good for people between the age of 18-64. Some people feel great on seven hours, for others, it takes a little more. If, however, you find yourself regularly sleeping for more than nine hours, you might want to take a look at your lifestyle.
Oversleeping is linked to a range of negative health implications, such as depression, diabetes, heart disease, and even an increased risk of death.
Oversleeping is considered a potential symptom of depression. While many depression sufferers report insomnia, 15% oversleep. If you feel that you’re getting too much sleep, you might be overlooking a sign of depression that you don’t want to overlook. Instead of giving you more energy, too much sleep will make you feel more tired. If you’re not careful, it can be a very vicious circle.
A study of almost nine thousand Americans has pointed to a connection between sleep and a heightened risk of diabetes. Although researchers did not find a direct link, the study did find that people who got more than nine hours of sleep on a consistent basis were 50% more likely to develop diabetes than people who slept for seven hours. Although the research does not certify that oversleeping causes diabetes on its own, it could reflect underlying medical issues that lead to an individual’s susceptibility to the disease.
Research focusing on 72,000 women carried out by the Nurses’ Health Study found that women who slept nine to 11 hours per night were 38% more likely to have coronary heart diseases than women who slept for eight hours. However, researchers are yet to identify a reason for the connection between oversleeping and heart disease.
Doctors used to tell those suffering back pain to go straight to bed and lie still. Those days are long gone and doctors now realise the health benefits of maintaining a healthy level of activity. As a result, health care professionals now recommend against sleeping more than usual, when possible.
Experience the Benefits of Sleep
If you’re averaging more than seven to nine hours of sleep per night, you should visit your doctor for a checkup. The doctor can help you determine why you oversleep.
If your oversleeping caused by alcohol or prescription medication, you should think about reducing or eliminating the use of these substances. Similarly, your doctor may determine that your oversleeping is caused by an underlying medical condition, treatment of which may allow you to return to normal sleep habits.
Regardless of the reason as to why you’re oversleeping, practising good sleep habits will help you reap the benefits of a healthy seven to nine hours of sleep each night. You should keep the same bedtime and wake time every day of the week, including weekends. You should also avoid caffeine up to six hours before bedtime, as well as make sure you leave three hours between large meals and going to sleep.