7 Reasons Why Sleeping too Much is Bad for Your Health

The fact of the matter is, sleep feels good and there will be times when all you’ll want to do is curl up under the covers and snooze away. This is understandable as people require, according to scientists, a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep each day for a healthy life and optimum performance. But can sleep actually be harmful if you have too much of it? The somewhat surprising answer is yes. The following 7 points explain how.

  1. Obesity

childhood obesity

Thereis a proven link between sleeping too much and the likelihood of developing obesity. In fact, one study has proven that there is at least a 21% likelihood of developing obesity for people who sleep for 9 or more hours per day.  The logic is kind of obvious: the more you sleep, the less exertion your body goes through and the less exercise you get. This sedentary state allows most of the excess glucose in your cells (which would have been expended during exercise) to be stored as fat. Storing fat is not such a bad thing until it becomes accumulated fat which is what makes people become obese.

Accumulated fat poses serious danger to health and could be harmful for the heart and other organs and body processes.

  1. Depression


Depression is a potentially serious consequence of inordinately prolonged sleep. Depression can decrease your immune system’s ability to protect your body, inhibit mental processing and generally affect quality of life. Studies have shown that there is a 49% chance of developing depression in people who sleep for more than 9 hours daily.

Interestingly, depression is a popular cause of over sleeping in the first place so it is very important, if a person is feeling depressed, that they avoid excessive sleeping, as this would only worsen their condition.

  1. Impaired Brain Function


It has been found that over-sleeping may actually speed up the aging process in elderly people and lead to deteriorating brain function.

  1. Infertility


For most people having a child or children is one of life’s great joys but this process can be hampered by a number of factors including–you guessed it–too much sleep. In general, disruptions to sleeping patterns can cause changes in the way hormones are secreted. In particular, the hormone leptin is crucial to regulating menstrual cycles in women.

One study, carried out in 2013, showed that women who got 7-8 hours of sleep had a significantly higher fertility rate than those who slept for between 9-11 hours. Although the study could not prove that the amount of sleep participants were getting was directly responsible for their fertility levels, it seems clear that there is a distinct relationship between the two.

  1. Diabetes Risk


Poor sleeping habits and in particular oversleeping, will put a person at risk of developing diabetes. In fact, research has shown that people who sleep for 9-11 or more hours are twice as much at risk of developing diabetes as are people who sleep for 7-8 hours daily.

  1. Heart Complications

Heart Complications

Although the vast majority of research points at eight hours being the optimum for healthy adults, some research in 2012, showed that people who slept for 8 hours or more each day were at increased risk of some common heart problems and diseases.

  1. Early Death


I’ll admit this one sounds a little more grim than it might be in reality, but there is some considerably weighty evidence supporting this theory. Studies have shown that people who sleep longer (9 or more hours per day) are at some risk of dying earlier than people who sleep for the recommended 7-8 hours a day. Perhaps Thomas Sackville (Earl of Dorset 1536-1608) knew what he was saying after all when he referred to sleep as “the cousin of death”.

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