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Sleeping too much may harm your health

Young Couple Sleeping

We’ve long known that sleep deprivation has been linked to depression, obesity, immune disorders and cardiovascular disease, but did you know that sleeping too much can also be a sign that something is wrong? Yes, on average we spend approximately 33% of our life sleeping, but it turns sleeping too much can also hurt your health.



So how much sleep do you need? Just look at a new born and you can gather that the amount of sleep varies by age. A newborn sleeps most of the day and it’s good for them. But what about you? According to WebMD, the amount of sleep you need "depends on your age and activity level as well as your general health and lifestyle habits."

While a young adult or teen may need nine or ten hours to feel fully rested, a grown adult is more likely to need seven to nine. But reports indicate this in just the average, and for many adults, the amount could be more, especially if they have had surgery, travelled to a new time zone or they are sick.

What does it mean if I am sleeping too much?


According to a recent article by CNN, sleeping too much, (more than 12 hours per day) may indicate that you have a sleep disorder known as hypersomnia. This condition may cause not only oversleeping but napping throughout the day. Experts also call this “sleep drunkenness,” and it may be an indication that something else is wrong, although they are quick to note that occasional oversleeping does not “pose serious health risks.”

Unfortunately, most individuals with hypersominia don’t wake from their extended sleep feeling relaxed and alert. In fact, they often feel disoriented, anxious, and restless. They may also suffer from loss of appetite and memory problems. As expected, hypersomnia or sleeping too much can also interfere with social interaction and employment.

What causes hyperinsominia?


If you are sleeping too much it’s important to talk to your doctor, but experts indicate that individuals with this condition may have other sleep disorders, a malfunctioning nervous system, kidney disease, depression, thyroid disease, or dementia. They also may be taking medications which could be affecting their sleep patterns.

Interestingly, individuals who do not get the right amount of sleep and sleep too much or too little also have higher mortality rates. Although it may not be the sleep specifically which is so unhealthy, the sleep is often a symptom of another underlying condition which is detrimental to health.

Steps to stop sleeping too much?


So what can you do to make sure you sleep better? According to the Mayo Clinic, the most important thing is to stick to a schedule. “Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.”

Next, they recommend paying attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t eat too much or too little and avoid nicotine and caffeine. Finally, create a bedtime ritual. This can include a warm bath or reading a good book.  Also make sure your sleep environment is dark and cool.

If none of this works and you continue to sleep too much or too little, talk to a doctor.
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