It’s common knowledge that getting too little sleep can have severe impacts on your health, but sleeping too much or oversleeping also has risks that can have long-lasting effects on your well-being.
More evidence in this growing field of sleep research is showing that spending an excess amount of time in bed is linked with certain risk factors and can be a symptom of other medical conditions, such as depression or Alzheimer’s.
Are You Sleeping Too Much?
Eight hours of rest has long been seen as a good for people to strive for. Research suggests that a range of seven to nine hours is normal and healthy for most adults between the ages of 18 and 64.
Achieving the proper amount of shut-eye will vary from person to person depending on factors like activity level and age. If you sleep in for a few hours on the weekends, it’s likely no big deal. If you regularly slumber more than nine hours or don’t feel well-rested on less than that, your health might be taking an unknown toll.
Impaired Brain Functioning and Mental Health
Once your head hits the pillow, your brain is hard at work balancing brain waves and processing memories. Excess or insufficient rest can disrupt this process and affect mood and mental health.
Cognitive abilities are also impacted by a sleep schedule. Receiving excessive shut eye has been linked to an overall negative effect on memory and can cause forgetfulness and memory loss.
Mental health disorders like depression can be detected though symptoms like oversleeping. While many people with depression report insomnia, about 15% tend to oversleep according to a study by WebMD. Anxiety and depression are more prominent in people who are resting more than nine hours each night so regulating a sleep schedule can help to reduce these symptoms and help identify potential problems.
Increased Inflammation and Pain
Certain lifestyle factors and chronic illnesses can contribute to inflammation and pain when you wake up, but under or oversleeping may also play a role.
While many times it can seem intuitive to rest more when we’re in pain, research shows that in some cases excess slumber can make symptoms worse. Back pain can worsen from too little activity or spending too much time in bed. Sleeping in a bad position on an unsupportive mattress for long periods can also exasperate symptoms.
While sleeping in is a common luxury, a surplus of shut-eye can be a health pitfall. By staying alert to the signs of health issues people can better protect themselves from this tempting cycle. Introducing a regular sleep schedule will help your overall well-being and quality of life.
Stacy Liman is a journalism graduate student and a freelance writer with Amerisleep. Her focus is on mindfulness and content marketing. Stacy enjoys discovering new mattresses and connecting people with their perfect bed, but she more so enjoys understanding and writing about the science of sleep to help people get deeper, healthier rest. Learn more at amerisleep.com or find your nearest showroom at amerisleep.com/phoenix.