Experts recommend you should get around 7 to 9 hours sleep per night. But what if you get more than that? Does anything happen to you? Can getting too much sleep ever become a real issue?
Causes of Oversleeping
Not getting enough sleep:
If you don’t get enough sleep during the night, varying from person to person, you’ll find it hard if not virtually impossible to get up in the morning.
Lack of sleep can be caused by poor quality sleep, not getting enough hours sleep or having an abnormal need for sleep.
Sleeping in because of a lack of sleep isn’t really oversleeping. It just appears that way. Teenagers need more sleep when going through puberty. So while it might seem like they’re oversleeping, they’re only getting the sleep they need.
But if you regularly sleep more 9 hours as an adult or 10 as a teenager, it’s fair to say you’re oversleeping.
Having a poor sleep schedule
A strong sleep schedule is key to falling asleep and waking up in the morning. It brings your body out of its deep sleep to feel bright, alert and ready to start the day.
Oversleeping. When your internal body clock is on track, you’ll find yourself naturally waking up in morning without the need for an alarm clock. When it goes off track, unless you’ve got a very loud alarm clock and a heck of a lot of willpower, you’ve got no chance!
A poor mindset
Essentially anything that makes you want to stay in bed rather than get up. Winter often has this effect. You need to give yourself a really good reason to get out of your warm bed and into the cold!
A poor mindset can be caused by:
Lack of motivation
If you suffer from SAD or Seasonal affective disorder, you may find waking up early in the morning when it’s still dark outside especially difficult.
Effects of Oversleeping
Surprisingly, getting too much sleep comes with a whole host of negative side effects, both physically and psychologically.
Here’s a list of the many physical effects that can be linked to oversleeping:
Putting on weight – Your body can’t make good use of the energy gained from food when you’re sleeping so it’s forced store it as fat. The longer you sleep, the less energy you’ll need.
Back pain – Unless you’ve got one of those funky memory foam mattresses, laying in bed for too long will eventually lead to back pain.
Heart disease – Research shows a link between people who sleep 9 to 11 hours per night and a 38% increased chance of coronary heart disease. The reason for this link is not fully understood, but it could be linked the increased risk of obesity from oversleeping.
Death – Undeniably the most serious effect! People who sleep 9 or more hours per night have a higher death rate than those who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night. The reason for this is thought to be down to the psychological effects associated with oversleeping although it’s still a bit of a mystery.
Along with the physical, there’s quite a lot of negative psychological effects related to oversleeping.
When you oversleep, there’s no denying you’re just wasting time on something that is actually unhealthy for you. So when you wake up and see exactly how much time you’ve wasted, it’s hard not to feel pretty rubbish.
The feeling isn’t helped by the fact you know you’ll have difficulty getting to sleep that night. Especially annoying if you’re doing your best to keep up a steady sleep pattern.
When you’ve overslept, it’s hard to get stuck into work and make a success of the rest of the day. Besides feeling rubbish, your mind feels foggy and clogged. I remember thinking that I would probably feel better with just 4 hours sleep rather than oversleeping by just a few hours.
Getting enough sleep is like hitting the bullseye on a dartboard. Miss by not getting enough sleep, and you’ll feel sleep deprived for the rest of the day. But miss by getting too much sleep, and you seem to have almost the same effect, if not worse.
So unsurprisingly, depression is commonly linked with oversleeping. A study has shown 15% of people with depression sleep too much. Although it’s hard to say if this is a result of oversleeping or if oversleeping is just one of the symptoms. Either way, it sure doesn’t help.
Interestingly, sleep deprivation is actually used to treat depression. So if you’re feeling down, getting an early start on the day may help you feel better.