The Disadvantages of Oversleeping
As I have previously discussed, sleep deprivation and insomnia are both linked to physical and mental health issues. Lack of sleep leads to a variety of complications that can cause serious long-term effects. What many people seem to overlook however, is the fact that too much sleep can be just as detrimental.
Almost 30% of adults in the United States can be categorized as oversleepers, which many medical professionals believe is an indication of underlying health problems. Aside from the societal disapproval of oversleeping (i.e. disappointed friends and family members, and the assumption of laziness), sleeping more than 10 hours a day can take an alarming toll on one’s health.
Much like sleep deprivation, oversleeping increases one’s risk of depression, and those already suffering from this mental illness may already be experiencing an overabundance of sleep. Though it is difficult to determine whether depression causes oversleeping first, or vice versa, seeking advice from a physician is strongly suggested in order to best handle your situation.
Though obesity has been linked to a lack of sleep, oversleeping can also cause weight gain, and even the development of type 2 diabetes, among other cardiovascular complications. Excess sleep can lower your regular levels of activity and productivity throughout the day, which may be a determinant of such health problems. A simple solution in combatting this issue is setting an alarm clock for the morning hours, and committing to no more than 8 hours of sleep. Exercising during the early hours of the day can aid in developing a healthy routine as well.
For individuals who are known to oversleep, the possibility that hypersomnia may be a cause should be considered. This is a sleep disorder that contributes to excess sleep during the night, and feelings of grogginess and fatigue during the day. Hypersomnia has also been correlated with the development of obstructive sleep apnea.
On a similar note, Narcolepsy can be another contributor to one’s issue with excessive sleep. This sleep disorder leads to an individual falling asleep at random times throughout the day with little control as to when and where. Narcolepsy can be an extremely dangerous condition given this fact, with the possibility of patients falling asleep while driving or performing recreational activities, increasing the risk of injury. Untreated hypersomnia and narcolepsy have also been considered contributors to depression.
One of the more serious risks of oversleeping is increasing your chances of developing heart disease. Longer nights (or days) of sleep can worsen chest pain leading to coronary artery disease; the leading cause of death in American adults. Developing this disease can induce heart attacks, strokes, or aneurysms.
A long-term effect that comes with excessive sleep could be a drastic change in lifestyle. After countless days of experiencing headaches, irritability, and depression, your overall mood and outlook and life can plummet. Sleeping for longer periods of time means less time to complete other, possibly fulfilling tasks that could get rid of damaging characteristics like self-doubt, complacency, bitterness, and overall melancholy.
If you’re aware that you suffer from a disorder causing excessive sleep like hypersomnia or narcolepsy, consult your physician for the best treatments in combatting these conditions in order to best avoid the risks mentioned above.
Originally published at rkirkhuntsman.org.