We are well aware that not sleeping enough can have negative effects on our mind and body, but what about the opposite problem?
We hear an awful lot about how important sleep is for so many of our body’s core functions, as well as the fact that an unnervingly high percentage of people around the world aren’t getting nearly enough sleep on a regular basis. But what is there to be said about the opposite problem? Is sleeping too much bad for your health as well? Can too much sleep be what’s making you even more tired? We decided to find out if sleeping too much can have negative effects on your body and mind.
Negative effects of oversleeping
To answer simply and succinctly: yes. Too much sleep can absolutely have some pretty unfortunate effects on your health. Let’s be clear: it is much, much less common to get too much sleep than it is to get too little sleep, but that doesn't mean the problem doesn’t exist.
Common sense dictates that not getting enough sleep each night can leave you feeling tired and anxious, but perhaps it might surprise you to learn that getting more than the required amount of sleep can do the same. Instead of feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new day, sleeping too much can actually make you more tired. Chronic oversleeping can leave you feeling lethargic, unmotivated and even more likely to hit that snooze button.
But it isn’t just the connection between too much sleep and too little energy – in fact, chronic oversleeping can also increase your risk for diabetes, obesity, headaches, back pain and even heart disease. Before you start to worry, at this point it is important to note that chronic oversleeping doesn’t refer to sleeping in a bit on the weekends, getting a lot of sleep while you’re sick (as with the flu), or getting some extra sleep when you're jet-lagged after a long flight. Chronic oversleeping means sleeping 10, 11 or even more hours per night on a regular basis.
Can you get a headache from sleeping too much?
Too much sleep can actually cause headaches, as well. For those of us prone to headaches, even just sleeping longer on the weekends can induce head pain. The reason for this seems to be that oversleeping has an effect on the release of serotonin in our brain. Serotonin is one of the hormones responsible for maintaining our circadian rhythm. This is the natural sleep-wake cycle that our bodies follow in order to fall asleep as well as wake up in a manner that has allowed our brain and body to properly reset themselves. Sleeping too much during the daylight hours, in particular, can affect serotonin levels, making it difficult to fall asleep at nighttime and may also result in morning headaches.
Finally, too much sleep can induce or worsen back pain as well. If you suffer from or have ever experienced back pain, you know just how debilitating it can be. It used to be common advice to lay down and take it easy if you were suffering from back pain, but those days are over. Doctors now advise against sleeping more than usual when dealing with upper or lower back pain, and even to maintain a certain level of physical activity, as well.
So, why is it exactly that some people are oversleeping? There are several different reasons that could be the cause of chronic oversleeping. Mental health issues like depression are one common reason that causes people to oversleep, as are sleep disorders like sleep apnea. If you suspect that you are getting too much sleep, it's a good idea to see a doctor or even a sleep therapist to decide if there might be an underlying issue.
As it turns out, too much sleep is indeed bad for your health, though not nearly as common a condition as a chronic lack of sleep is. No matter where you fall on the sleep spectrum, the best thing to do is figure out how many hours of sleep each night is right for you. This means the amount of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed, energized and ready to tackle the new day. Once you’ve got it figured out, try to stick to that number not only during the week but on weekends, vacations and holidays as well. If you find you have trouble getting enough quality sleep each night, it’s time to try out the Heartlandritz Original! Blocking out both light and sound to provide you with an exceptional experience in comfort, the Heartlandritz Original is truly revolutionary in its ability to get you quality sleep, fast.
Want to keep dreaming?
At OSTRICHPILLOW we're all about travel, discovery, and the unexpected. Join our community of dreamers and you'll receive special offers and inspiration fresh to your inbox.