With the busy lifestyles most of us lead, one of the main questions surrounding sleep in is whether or not getting too little sleep is bad for you; there is still much research to be done in this area, but the results seem to suggest that too little sleep is indeed bad for us. A lesser asked question though, is whether oversleeping, rather than a lack of sleeping, is bad for you. There may not have been as much research into oversleeping as there has been into under sleeping; however, the research that there has been seems to suggest that oversleeping can in fact be bad for you, and potentially lead to very serious health implications. Not all of the health implications are necessary quite as serious, but any health issue is not one to be taken lightly. Many of us have heard of insomnia, which results in a lack of sleep, but there is also a disorder called hypersomnia which causes sufferers to sleep excessively. Interestingly, those that suffer from hypersomnia can experience many negative health issues, both physical and mental, such as anxiety, memory loss and low energy.
Not everyone that oversleeps is necessarily suffering from a sleeping disorder, there are many other factors too they can cause oversleeping; these factors can include such things as alcohol dependency and drug use, also, there are also other medical conditions, besides sleeping disorders that can have an effect, such as depression. Whatever the causes and reasons of oversleeping some of the negative side-effects can include such things as diabetes, headaches, heart problems, serious psychological disorders and there are even links to it being the cause of early death, so clearly it’s not exactly very good for you. Another thing that has been linked to oversleeping, as one might expect, is obesity; if you’re spending the time asleep rather than being up and active you will not be using as much energy, or burning off those extra calories – many studies suggest a strong correlation between oversleeping and obesity, although that’s not to say that everyone that is obese oversleeps.
It is impossible to say exactly how much sleep each person should have, you can only give rough guidelines, this is because everybody is different and there is no exact formula for how much people need; some people can survive very well on just a few hours’ sleep, some people need much more. Equally, people of different ages require different amounts of sleep, any parent will tell you how much a new-born baby sleeps and how much they continue to sleep in their early years, as children age and become adults they require less and less sleep, once they reach the age of about 17 or 18 they will require as much as most adults need throughout the rest of their life, although this does decrease at an elderly age. One thing that can be said though is it that striking the right balance of sleep is important; consistently getting too little sleep can have negative consequences as can getting too much.