Give it a rest: how much sleep is too much?

Now that we’re adults, we’ve realized that we really took sleep for granted when we were kids. We wonder why the heck we cried when we were put to bed, and we can’t see why we would reject a nap when we got overtired. It’s bonkers! Today, we would do anything to just have a short ten-minute sleep in the corner of the office, and we long for the day that we get to have a lie-in. Sleep is the best, right? Yet, if you find any opportunity to shut your eyes and inspect the insides of your eyelids, you may be wondering whether you’re having too much sleep…

What’s the time, doc?

For as long as we can remember, we’ve been under the impression that eight hours of sleep is required to get through the day ahead – but it seems as though this is a little ambiguous. The amount of sleep needed to function properly varies from person to person because some people find it easier to survive off less sleep than others. Because of this, experts have since suggested that between seven to nine hours is a healthy and normal amount of sleep for those aged between 18 and 64 years old. If you sleep for any less than that, you will find it incredibly difficult to function, but it seems that if you oversleep, you may also fall into a path of problems.

The health impacts

You might not realize it, but oversleeping can actually damage your health dramatically. Over the years, oversleeping has been directly related to higher rates of mortality and has even been associated with mental health issues, such as depression. However, the list doesn’t end there. Doctors have noticed that too much sleep can cause problems with fertility, increase your chances of a stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even cognitive impairment.

A daily struggle

We all think that sleeping will help clear our mind and get it ready for the day ahead – and it does do that. Yet, oversleeping can actually have the opposite effect. If you sleep for too many hours each day, you may find that your brain becomes even fuzzier. In the worst case scenario, oversleeping can prematurely age your brain by around two years, which means you may find daily tasks a struggle. You may find it difficult to concentrate, you may not be able to focus on the task at hand, and you might not be able to remember things quite as easily.

You’re just not in the mood

More than anything, oversleeping can drastically affect your mood. In fact, oversleeping and depression seem to be directly related, and seem to go hand and hand in a full circle. Those who sleep too much often suffer from depression and those with depression often sleep too much. So, how do you get out of this vicious cycle? Well, the first step is to regulate your sleeping patterns. By giving yourself a set bedtime and waking up to an alarm at least 7-9 hours later, you should be able to train your body to sleep for a normal amount of time. Hopefully, this will then alleviate your health problems.

If you love sleep and love nothing more than lying in bed for hours on end, you might want to think twice about pressing the snooze button. With oversleeping causing major health problems, you need to really moderate your sleeping patterns and get to grips with around 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

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Give it a rest: how much sleep is too much?
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