Why Do I Sleep So Much – We all need to sleep at night. It helps our body recover from the previous day and prepares us for the following.  But sleeping too much has some adverse effects on our health. Oversleeping at night can put people at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other medical conditions like depression [1]. Many factors contribute to oversleeping, including over-the-counter sleeping pills, altered sleep patterns, sleep paralysis, and sleep disorders [2].

Let’s Take A Look At What Can Happen When You Oversleep.

Why Do I Sleep So Much

Why Do I Sleep So Much – Understanding The Proper Amount of Sleep

The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), the average sleep time is seven to nine hours. Although there is nothing wrong with extending your hours of sleep, an underlying condition may be making you fall asleep longer than expected. It is also possible that your sleep style is not that effective, so you wind up adding an hour or two to compensate. There is also a category of people known as “long sleepers” who sleep for nine to 10 hours and still function well. Long sleepers feel groggy when they sleep less [3].

The NSF also states that sleeping for seven to nine hours is considered normal and healthy for people 18 to 64 years old.

Side Effects Of Oversleeping

Side Effects Of Oversleeping

There is nothing wrong with sleeping in from time to time. Most people are not worried when they sleep in late. Aside from being a predisposed long sleeper or sleeping in late from time to time, there are other factors to consider that may contribute to oversleeping.

When our natural circadian rhythms are disrupted, health problems start popping up. With the exception of long sleepers, getting too much sleep creates a high risk of various health problems.

Let’s take a look at the potential side effects [4].

Fatigue Leads To Oversleeping

Fatigue Leads To Oversleeping

Most people experience fatigue because of sleep problems. You will most likely feel the effects of lack of sleep if your time in bed is disrupted [5].  When sleep debt starts accruing, it is time to look for the source of the sleep issues and work towards eliminating them. Sleep deprivation can be the cause of many health problems because your body is not restored or energized for the following day.

Insomnia Role In Sleep Deprivation

Why Do I Sleep So Much – Insomnia Role In Sleep Deprivation

A lot of people have this sleep disorder.

Difficulty falling asleep at night or trouble staying asleep can be frustrating and affect your circadian rhythm. Not treating your insomnia can lead to long-term negative effects. You may find yourself oversleeping to make up for lost sleep. If you suffer from insomnia medical professionals may recommend medications for a good night’s sleep.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Sleep

Why Do I Sleep So Much – How Sleep Apnea Affects Sleep

Sleep apnea is another disorder that can lead to longer sleeping hours. Symptoms include snoring and gasping during sleep because the airways are obstructed. This disrupts the sleep cycle and creates a need for more sleep.

Medical professionals can help diagnose, monitor, and treat this condition. When you have sleep-disordered breathing, it is important to get it checked as soon as possible.

How Depression Affects Sleep

Why Do I Sleep So Much – How Depression Affects Sleep

Another possible cause of sleeping too much is depression. People who are suffering from depression often feel tired and spend long hours in bed. Depression can also cause difficulty with mobility.

How Weight Gain Affects Sleep

Why Do I Sleep So Much – How Weight Gain Affects Sleep

The first thing people may notice when they sleep too much is weight gain. Your body stores fat as fewer calories are burned. There have been studies [6] that show that long sleepers and those who sleep too much are at a higher risk of obesity compared to those who sleep normal hours.

How Heart Disease & Diabetes Affect Sleep

How Heart Disease & Diabetes Affect Sleep

Another effect of oversleeping is heart disease.

Spending the bulk of your time asleep can raise your blood sugar levels, and when combined with a sedentary lifestyle, can put you at risk for diabetes [8].  Long sleepers can also be at risk of coronary heart disease [7].

How Headaches Affect Sleep

How Headaches Affect Sleep

Too much sleep can leave you with a throbbing headache when you wake up. Scientists believe this is because of the effect too much sleep has on the brain’s neurotransmitters[ 9].

How Inflammation Affects Sleep

How Inflammation Affects Sleep

Sleeping for too many hours can cause your cortisol levels to spike, creating aches and pains in the morning. This can also lead to other health issues like high blood pressure if left unchecked [10].

How Inflammation Affects Sleep

Brain Fog Can Increase Your Risk Of Parkinson’s Disease

Brain fog is a common side effect of excessive sleep. Scientists believe that too much sleep on a regular basis increases your risk of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease [11].

Decreased Social Relationships While Sleep Deprived

Decreased Social Relationships While Sleep Deprived

Another possible effect of excessive sleeping is that relationships suffer. A long-term relationship can be difficult due to lack of energy or motivation.

Increased Pain, Especially In Your Lower Back
Increased Pain, Especially In Your Lower Back

Oversleeping can exacerbate any pain. Back pain is a common condition that can be linked to spending most of your time in bed, especially when you have a sagging mattress causing improper spinal alignment [12].

Impaired Fertility Due To Sleep Deprivation

Impaired Fertility Due To Sleep Deprivation

It is possible that your fertility rate will be affected when too much time is spent asleep. Those who sleep longer are less likely to conceive compared to those who are getting the recommended hours of sleep.

Researchers suggest that sleeping beyond the recommended time affects circadian rhythms and, consequently, fertility [13].

Anxiety Caused By Sleep Deprivation

Anxiety Caused By Sleep Deprivation

Anxiety is often linked to not being able to sleep well at night which can lead to anxious feelings through the night and when the sun starts to rise. However, hypersomnia can also have the same effect. Those who experience anxiety choose to sleep more as a means of finding relief, but this can worsen their condition [14].

Sleep Hangover

Sleep Hangover

This is probably the least harmful of the side effects associated with excessive sleeping. Similar to brain fog, this is a feeling that you are not “in the moment.” Sleep hangovers can increase the risk of accidents.

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is the feeling of being unable to move that occurs either at the onset of sleep or upon awakening.[15] Scientists think excessive sleeping is a cause of this, but they do not have evidence as to why [16].

Why Do I Sleep So Much Explained

Why Do I Sleep So Much Conclusion

There are many side effects associated with sleeping too much. People who spend more than the recommended time sleeping can alter their REM sleep meaning that their sleep patterns are altered.

Unfortunately, excessive sleeping can be dangerous to your health and the side effects are far-reaching. They can affect your personal life, professional life, and various bodily systems.

People who oversleep are at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes among other life-threatening conditions. Fortunately, you can correct your sleep pattern by changing your current lifestyle, setting up a bedtime routine, or asking for help from health professionals. Medication may be recommended for those with sleep disorders, but most of the time, changing your lifestyle yields better results and produces the recommended quantity and quality of sleep.

You may also enjoy reading What Time Should I Wake Up – Scientists Explain Exactly When To Get Up

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Why Do I Sleep So Much Resources:
[1][2][5][6][7][8][9][12][13][16]   WebMD; Physical Side Effects of Oversleeping, Carol DerSarkissian, January 29, 2018.
[3][4]   Live Strong; Causes of Oversleeping, Kay Ireland, August 14, 2017.
[10]   US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Sleep Loss and Inflammation,  Janet M. Mullington, Ph.D., Norah S. Simpson, Ph.D.,  Hans K. Meier-Ewert, M.D., Monika Haack, Ph.D., August 14, 2010.
[11]   Little Things; 7 Scary Signs That You Are Getting Way Too Much Sleep, Rebecca Endicott.
[12]   Huffington Post; Sleep, Fertility Linked: 7-8 Hours Best For IVF Patients, Study Says, Catherine Pearson, October 18, 2013.
[14]   Medical News Today; Everything you need to know about sleep paralysis, Kathleen Davis FNP,  May 24, 2017.
[15]   Sound Health Solution; Treatment For Sleeping Paralysis | Sleeping Paralysis: A Horrible Experience, Sujan Rija, January 25, 2017.

Why Do I Sleep So Much - The Serious Side Effects Of Oversleeping
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Why Do I Sleep So Much – The Serious Side Effects Of Oversleeping
[QUESTION] Why do I sleep so much? [ANSWER] Oversleeping at night can put people at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other medical conditions like depression.
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