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Have you ever heard that you can get too much sleep? I’ve decided to do some research on it since I love sleeping in, especially on weekends. I’ve found some interesting facts about how it can affect your health.
I hope that this post will teach you a few things you didn’t know about getting too much sleep.
Do you love sleeping in? Here’s how it’s affecting your health:
Your body has an internal sleep clock. When your sleep schedule differs from your internal sleep clock, it’s called social jet lag. When you sleep less during the week, tend to go to bed later and sleep in on weekends, you are messing up your body’s internal sleep clock.
You can’t catch up on sleep or bank it. Your body doesn’t work that way. If you slept poorly last night, go to bed early tonight and you’ll probably make up for the sleep you lost. But you can’t make up for the sleep you lose over a long period of time.
Related article: How to Train Yourself to Wake Up Earlier
The potential short-term, negative effects include a foggy brain, impaired driving, difficulty remembering things, and reduced vision.
While some long-term effects include:
Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep) is more commonly linked to depression than oversleeping is, but 15% of people with depression sleep too much and in turn, it makes their depression worse.
Sleeping outside of the normal hours could be affecting hormones and circadian cycles, impairing fertility.
Increased pain and inflammation
Back pain can worsen from spending too much time in bed. Sleeping in may also trigger migraines and headaches. Researchers believe this is because of the effect oversleeping has on certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
Weight gain, especially belly fat
Multiple studies have shown that people who sleep longer, gain more weight over a long period of time than people who sleep normal amounts. Too little sleep can also cause weight gain.
Struggle to lose weight
Long sleepers have shorter periods available when they can be active. In other words, the more you sleep, the less you move – and the fewer calories you burn off.
Higher risk of obesity
If you’re a long sleeper, you are likely to be or become obese.
Higher risk of diabetes
Long sleep causes impaired glucose tolerance. Glucose tolerance refers to the body’s ability to process sugars, and impaired glucose tolerance is associated with insulin resistance and is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Higher risk of heart disease and stroke
People sleeping more than nine hours per night are twice as likely to have angina (chest pain caused by reduced blood flow) and 10% more likely to have coronary heart disease.
Apart from health risks from sleeping in, there are also other things caused by bad sleeping habits that can cause you to be unhappy:
- You feel tired all the time even with enough sleep
If this is you, you may want to develop healthier sleeping habits. You can sleep all you want or try to catch up on sleep, but you will continue to feel tired until you establish a healthy sleeping schedule. This means going to bed the same time every night and getting up the same time every morning. Yes, even on weekends.
- You end up being very unproductive
Sleeping in feels good at the time, but it’s a HUGE waste of time. You can’t catch up on sleep lost during the week and you can’t bank it for later either. You could’ve used that time to get things done and be productive. Sleeping in just makes you feel tired for the rest of the day and you end up being unproductive, which also contributes to anxiety and higher stress levels.
Too little sleep can be bad for your health too and it opens the door to entirely different health risks.
The amount of sleep recommended for an adult is 7 – 9 hours. This is just a guideline and only you can know the exact amount of sleep you need, but anywhere between 7 and 9 hours is a healthy amount of sleep.
This must be good quality sleep hours. Rolling around and lying awake doesn’t count as sleeping hours.
If you are very active and exercise a lot, your body will need more sleep than someone who isn’t active at all. And if you’re an active person, the quality of your sleep is likely much better than someone who doesn’t exercise.
If you feel like you need to catch up on sleep, you can try and see if it works for you, but chances are you will still feel tired afterward.
My advice is to go to bed earlier than usual, just once, and allow yourself to wake up naturally the next morning without an alarm. Keep your room dark and quiet so there’s nothing to wake you up. Set a curfew for all electronics and avoid using them right before falling asleep. If you use them shortly before sleeping, it can cause you to wake up several times during the night and not get the rest your body needs. Don’t fall back asleep in the morning after waking up. Get up, and from there on you should try to develop a healthy sleeping habit to stick to.
Nobody likes waking up early, but everyone loves the feeling of having woken up early.
What do you do to stick to a sleep schedule? Share your thoughts in the comments.