The Health Hazards Of Sleeping Too Much

Team USA sleeping

Photo: @kevinlove

The negative health effects of not getting enough sleep are well-known.But oversleeping can be bad for us too.  

What is oversleeping? Researchers say that adults need seven to eight hours of sleep to protect against common diseases and early death.

We recently reported, however, that the average American is getting more than that. According to a survey by the Bureau of labour Statistics, people over the age of 15 are snoozing an average of 8 hours and 43 minutes each night. 

An extra 43 minutes seems harmless, until you see the problems associated with sleeping too much.  

Oversleepers are at greater risk of developing diabetes.

Research from the Universityé Laval in Canada found that risk of developing type 2 diabetes was more than twice as high for people who sleep too much.

Researchers studied the sleeping patterns of 276 people over a six-year period. Among them, 20 per cent that slept under seven hours or over eight hours developed diabetes, compared to only 7 per cent of subjects that had average sleeping patterns.

Oversleepers are at greater risk of obesity.

A paper published in the journal Sleep found that people who sleep longer than eight hours increased their risk of being obese by 21 per cent.

The researchers studied 276 adults for six years as part of The Quebec Family Study by Laval University.

Oversleeping can lead to back pain.

Health Guidance reports that there is a relationship between back pain and oversleeping. The longer you sleep, the longer you may be subjecting your spine to harmful positions that can lead to back pain.

Lower back pain is also the most common cause of job-related disability in the United States. The National Institute of Health recommends sleeping on your side to reduce any curve in the spine and always sleeping on a firm surface.

Sleeping too much can lead to headaches.

People that are prone to headaches can develop further head pain from getting too much shut-eye. The headaches may be due to the 'effect oversleeping has on certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin,' says CBS News.

Sleeping to much can make depression worse.

About 15 per cent of people suffering from depression tend to oversleep, which may make their depression even worse.

Researchers at the The University of Tübingen in Germany published a paper on the 'Therapeutic Use of Sleep Deprivation in Depression.' They found that depriving people of sleep for one night improves depressive symptoms in 40 to 60 per cent of treatments.

Oversleeping increases the risk of heart disease.

Research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session found that people who get more than eight hours of sleep have an increased risk for heart disease.

The study was performed by researchers at the Chicago Medical School. They studied data from a survey given to 3,019 patients over the age of 45. The data showed that people who overslept were twice as likely to have chest pain and 1.1 times more likely to have coronary heart disease.

Oversleepers had early signs of Alzheimer's.

A study presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference found that too much sleep could be bad for the ageing brain.

The study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital studied 15,000 elderly woman. Brain functions were analysed at the beginning of the study and every two years for six years. They found that the subjects who slept more than nine hours a day had worse brain functions and early signs of Alzheimer's disease that those with an average amount of sleep.

Several studies showed premature death.

Studies have found that people who sleep more than eight hours have a 30 per cent higher death rate than those who sleep 7-8 hours.

A systematic review and meta-analysis that analysed 16 sleep studies was published in the journal Sleep. Francesco Cappuccio of the Warwick Medical School in the UK found that sleeping too much was associated with a greater risk of an early death. The analysis included 1,382,999 people from ages 4 to 25 years. There was 112,566 deaths among them. Sleep duration was assessed by questionnaire and oversleeping was over eight hours.

A good night's sleep is important for your health.

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