“The path to least resistance is very seductive. Don’t take it.”
Sleep is undoubtedly a vital part of our lives. It is necessary for the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. In addition, it improves productivity, heart health, body metabolism, and the overall mood of the person. However, like anything else, the importance of its moderation must be emphasized. If we over-indulge in sleep, we must be prepared to face the consequences.
Someone once talked about the importance of waking up immediately after your alarm goes off. Are you one of those people who sets ten different alarms a few minutes apart, or is one alarm enough to get you up and running? It is said that the minute your alarm goes off is very important and even shapes the rest of your day. It’s deeper than it seems. Being able to resist the temptation of oversleeping is an indication of your discipline levels. How can you resiliently chase after your big wild dreams if the simple act of waking up on time is a problem?
For many of us, the act of snoozing the alarm seems almost natural. We’ve done it over and over again until it has become second nature, and breaking off this bad habit seems almost impossible. However, I recently stumbled upon a quote that shuns down the habit of hitting the snooze button: Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince.
Hitting the snooze button is more detrimental to your health than you may think. When you do it, your brain thinks that you’re entering into another sleep cycle (90 to 110 minutes). But, you’re probably not going to snooze that long. So what happens is that you need to wake up in the middle of your sleep cycle. You wake up groggy and feeling tired. Your body and brain are off. This then becomes the start of your day, which has a major effect on the rest of your day. Your first 20 minutes each morning are crucial to what you’ll accomplish in a day.
So, just how much sleep is enough for you? According to Help Guide, while sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. Despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep.
Here are the harmful side effects of oversleeping, and why you need to regulate your sleeping hours.
- Cognitive impairment
Too much sleep is bad for the brain. Since basic cognitive functioning requires collaboration from numerous systems, reasoning, and verbal skills suffer when you sleep too little—or too much. Sure, less than seven hours per night is problematic, but so is more than eight hours. Cognitive impairment, which can result from oversleeping, has to do with trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. In the long run, this can lead to Alzheimer’s.
- Can lead to depression or increase its severity
As the world becomes more aware of mental health issues, it is important to know that oversleeping can cause depression. Hypersomnia is the clinical term for excessive sleeping and excessive sleepiness during the day. It makes sense that more severe depression might often go hand in hand with more intense, variable, and wide-ranging sleep problems including a drive to sleep excessively. Gabriela Cora, the managing partner of the Florida Neuroscience Center and a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, says that even for people who are managing depression, the magic number is still eight hours of shuteye. “In general, sleeping more than eight hours every night may not be as healthy. If you oversleep and experience a mood that’s low or sad, this may indicate depression.”
- Impaired fertility
Fertility can interfere with the body’s ability to reproduce offspring. A study of Korean women undergoing in vitro fertilization therapy found that women who slept seven to eight hours had the best chances of conceiving. The moderate sleepers had the highest pregnancy rates (53%) compared to those sleeping six hours or less (46%) and those sleeping nine to eleven hours (43%). Study authors suggest sleep outside the normal range could be affecting hormones and circadian cycles, impairing fertility.
- Can lead to obesity
Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when a person carries excess weight or body fat that might affect their health. It can lead to high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, Coronary heart disease, and even stroke. Now research has proven that there’s a correlation between oversleeping and obesity. One recent study showed that people who slept for nine or 10 hours every night were 21% more likely to become obese over a six-year period than people who slept between seven and eight hours.
Diabetes is a lifestyle condition that is associated with the body’s poor response to the hormone insulin which regulates blood sugar. Oversleeping has been said to have a correlation with diabetes. In fact, a Canadian study looked at the lifestyle habits of 276 people over six years, finding that people with long and short sleep durations were more likely to develop impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes during the timespan compared to normal sleepers. As per an article on WebMD, in men, sleeping too much or too little was related to less responsiveness of the cells in the body to insulin, reducing glucose uptake, and thus increasing the risk of developing diabetes.
- Heart disease
There are many types of heart disease that affect different parts of the organ and occur in different ways. Now, researchers have proven that there is an inverse relationship between heart health and oversleeping. The authors of a study published in the European Heart Journal found that daytime napping was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death among those who slept more than six hours a night, but not among those who got less sleep. Although most studies do not actually point to the cause, sleeping too much boosts inflammation in the body, which is associated with cardiovascular disease.
- Back pain
Oversleeping can affect the natural curve of your spine and lead to back pain. Laying on your back for long periods can cause the muscles that support the normal curvature of your back to become fatigued. When you oversleep, the likelihood of spending time in an awkward sleeping position is increased, increasing the likelihood that you will experience back pain.
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