Is Oversleeping Bad for Your Health

April 25, 2011
Extreme behaviors, extreme climates, extreme thoughts, extreme actions and in general, extremists will be of "extreme" interest to you as long as you are not exposed to any of these conditions! They seem to be "fascinating" as long as you hear about them from someone else! It's also very interesting to go through a novel that describes about all these extreme conditions. But what if you need to pass through any of such situations? For example, sleeplessness or insomnia may keep you tossing and turning on the bed for nights while the other extreme condition of oversleeping may make you fall asleep anywhere and at anytime!

Oversleeping has its own blues and it is associated with a higher risk of obesity, diabetes and a number of other health issues. Although sleep is a necessity to aid in the body's rejuvenation process, oversleeping or hypersomnia can cause adverse effects on the body. Oversleeping is a subjective phenomenon as the requirement of sleep varies from person to person and also depends on your age, activity level, lifestyle habits and general health. For example, you may feel an increased need for sleep during a period of illness. Experts, however, typically recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night for adults.

What are the Possible Causes of Oversleeping or Hypersomnia?

Stress, lack of self discipline and poor sleep are a few common causes of oversleeping.
Some of the leading causes are:

Sleep Apnea: It is a sleep disorder, in which people stop breathing momentarily during sleep and this can lead to an increased need for sleep. This is because it disrupts the normal cycle of sleep. An individual feels tired and slow even if he has slept for 10 hours. Breathing trouble starts as the walls of the throat tend to relax while the individual starts relaxing. As a result, the flow of air inside the body stops and either the individual gets up to breathe or he fails to go to a deep level of sleep.

Narcolepsy: It is a neurological problem that leads to oversleeping. It affects the part of the brain, which controls and regulates sleep. People in such condition fail to identify and distinguish between the times to sleep and the times to remain awake. People fall asleep anywhere and anytime.

Stress and Depression: Depression is one of the leading causes of oversleeping as it robs you of your will to get up from your bed in the morning. You will feel tired and fatigued and will find difficulty in waking up. Similarly, stress has a short term effect on sleeping habits.
Fatigue: It is also one of the leading causes of oversleeping. Fatigue may be because of various reasons such as working too hard, sleep disorders, pregnancy or not getting the optimum amount of sleep. Not getting enough sleep or being disturbed through the sleep process can leave you feeling tired. When you get the chance, you may oversleep for over nine hours as your body tries to recoup from the fatigue.

What are the Health Effects of Oversleeping?

Diabetes: Researchers suggest that people who sleep for more than nine hours each night have 50% greater risk of suffering from diabetes than those who sleep for seven hours per night. Studies have found that oversleeping may indicate underlying medical problems that may increase the likelihood of getting affected with diabetes.

Obesity: A study has shown that people who sleep for nine or ten hours every night are 21% more likely to become obese than the ones who sleep for just seven to eight hours at night.
Heart Disease: A study has shown that women who sleep for nine to eleven hours per night are 38% more likely to have coronary heart disease than the women who sleep for eight hours.

Headache: Researchers believe that headaches may result due to the effect oversleeping on certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin. People who sleep too much during the day often find their night time sleep disrupted. They may suffer from headaches in the morning.

Back Pain: When you lay in your bed for long hours, your back develops complications, eventually leading to back pain. Additionally, people suffering from back pain, or prone to back pain, are encouraged by doctors to keep active.

Death: Many studies have found that people who sleep nine or more hours per night have a higher death rate than those who sleep seven to eight hours per night. Researchers speculate that depression and low socioeconomic status (also associated with longer sleep) could be related to the observed increase in mortality.

What are the Treatment Options for Oversleeping?

Long sleep usually does not require any treatment, unless it is a symptom of a more serious disorder. In such cases, the underlying cause needs to be addressed. The biggest problem for long sleepers is adjusting the daily schedule to their sleeping hours. If they do not get the required sleep quantity, they may feel cranky and tired the next day and can face problems in social as well as professional spheres.

Tips to Stop Oversleeping

Select the Appropriate Alarm Tone: Choose a sound that jars you back into reality, even from the deepest levels of sleep.

Refuse to Snooze: Make it a point to not use the snooze button. Repeated use of the snooze feature may result in accidentally shutting off the alarm.

Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule: Set a regimen that allows your body the time to rest and to get ready for the next day's activities.

Consult a Physician: Talk to your doctor if you experience chronic oversleeping. There may be underlying conditions contributing towards oversleeping.

Too much of anything is bad for your health. Insomina or Hypersomnia are just like drought and flood respectively. And, as you know, both the conditions, being extreme, can produce only harmful effects. Oversleeping can disturb your schedules and interfere with your daily routine in the short run while resulting in more serious effects like diabetes, obesity and heart diseases in the long run! If this is what is bothering you recently, then it's better to give a try yourself before turning to a physician. Set your alarm!
Source: Lifemojo