The importance of getting enough sleep has been increasingly discussed in the media lately. It has many benefits including keeping weight at bay, maintaining low blood pressure and keeping healthy heart. For some, getting more than 7-8 hours a night seems to be the right thing to do. After all, more sleep is often believed to be better than less sleep. Unfortunately, there’s such a thing as too much sleep, and it’s important to know the health risks it carries. According to a study, the number of Americans who sleep more than nine hours a night is on the rise. Meanwhile, those who sleep for less than six hours is decreasing. The trend is also seen in other countries. It is encouraging in many ways but up to a point. Here are a few downsides of too much sleep:
Oversleeping can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a study has said. The risk increased by 15 percent in people who slept for two additional hours or more. While it’s not certain why oversleeping is associated with diabetes, it’s believed that people who oversleep could actually be experiencing poor sleep quality. Poor sleep can cause the body to produce less insulin after meals. At the same time, the body secrets more stress hormones that make it difficult for insulin to do its job. Your body ends up with too much glucose which increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
A lack of movement and lying down in a position for extended periods can make back pain worse. Your back benefits greatly from physical activity as it builds muscle and reduces stiffness. If you sleep for too long, it isn’t receiving any of these things. Those who have injured discs also need activity as it allows the diffusion of nutrients to disc spaces, reduces swelling and keeps the back healthy.
Oversleeping can also contribute to headaches especially if you’re already prone to getting them. The exact connection isn’t known, but it’s believed that sleeping too much can cause fluctuations in neurotransmitters that may be a trigger for headaches. Another theory is that when you oversleep, you miss your normal coffee/breakfast time. This could lead to caffeine withdrawals, dehydration and low blood sugar which may cause headaches.
Oversleeping doesn’t just affect the body; it also affects mental health. One possible reason is that sleeping for too long robs you of physical activity which increases the level of ‘feel good’ chemicals that can distract from stressful situations. But that’s not all. According to a study, sleeping for too long (and sleeping too little) can increase the risk for depressive symptoms. Both appear to activate genes linked to depressive symptoms.
Spending too much time in bed and not getting exercise can lead to weight gain. Your body isn’t burning calories as it should, and they pile up in the form of excess weight. What’s more, the more overweight you are, the less quality sleep you’ll receive. Being overweight puts you at risk of developing sleep apnea which prevents you from getting quality sleep. The cycle continues, and you may develop other health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
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If you have a tendency to oversleep, it could be that you’re sleeping too late. Try to get to bed early so that you sleep sooner and get your dose of 7-8 hours by morning.
List out all the things you need to do the next day with some scheduled for the morning. The more you have to do, the more motivated you’ll feel to not oversleep.
Expose yourself to bright light in the morning and during the day to keep you alert. You can use thinner curtains so that the light streams through without you having to wake up and draw them open. As evening nears, dim the lights so that your body knows bedtime is close and will start initiating sleep.
Quality sleep matters and a comfortable bed is just what you need for it. Use supportive pillows and a good mattress so that your body is cushioned and supported.
Nuvanna is a mattress designed for better sleep. It’s the brainchild of an industry expert with over 20 years of experience. It features three layers, and each has a different function. The top layer comprises a cool gel layer that disperses body heat and prevents you from sweating. The second layer isolates motion so that you and your partner don’t disturb each other. The bottom layer uses a Progressive Support System to keep your spine aligned and prevent back pain.
Sleep quality trumps quantity and hitting the snooze button just so you can sleep more won’t benefit you. The key is to get good sleep for 7-8 hours. This way, your mind’s alert and ready to take on the day while your body stays trimmer and doesn’t suffer from the health risks that come with oversleeping.