We all know that we can’t function properly without a good night’s sleep because sleeping is essential for good health, both mental and physical. However, even though the lack of sleep can be health detrimental, excessive sleep can also have negative consequences. Just like everything else, the answer lies in the middle. Everything is good in moderation you just have to find the golden middle!
How long should you sleep?
We all know that as adult we should get about 8 hours of sleep every night, but this is not enough for all ages. Children under 18 should sleep more while the elderly are recommended to sleep less. So how can you know how much is just enough?
The National Sleep Foundation has designed a chart which shows the latest recommendation on how much sleep we need according to our age. It’ based on a number of studies and researches by leading scientists in physiology, sleep and anatomy as well as neurology, pediatrics, gynecology and gerontology.
We all know to sleep in from time to time or spend an odd night tossing and turning in bed, which isn’t serious if it happens occasionally. However, it shouldn’t grow into a habit because sleeping too much or not enough can lead to some serious health issues. We’ve compiled a list of 7 most important reasons why you should be careful in regards to your sleeping habits:
- Back pain
Back pain is a pretty common problem many of us face nowadays and it can really affect your quality of life negatively. It can be quite intense and render you unable to move or get out of bed. One of the reasons behind this could be excessive sleep. It makes you more prone to back pain because it weakens your back muscles. Instead of sleeping in, opt for some low-intensity workout routine to strengthen your back muscles.
Sleeping for too long can cause a glitch in your metabolism and make it store energy instead of using it. There was even a study conducted on the subject. The study involved two groups of participants who had similar exercise and diet regimens but had different sleeping habits. One group slept for ten hours a night while the other slept 8 hours. It was concluded that the participants in the first group were more likely to become obese than the participants in the second group.
Depression can have a big impact on your sleeping pattern. It can be manifested by oversleeping or insomnia. About 15% of people who suffer from depression are sleeping excessively. Furthermore, oversleeping can have a negative impact on the mental health and prolong the recovery.
If you sleep in more often than you should you might have noticed frequent headaches and it’s no wonder because sleeping too much can damage the neurotransmitters. It can cause poor quality of sleep and headaches.
Excessive sleep or the lack of it can hamper your body’s ability to process glucose and if your body can’t process glucose you are at risk from type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. A study that analyzed the everyday habits of 276 people for six years revealed that those who slept less or more than the recommended were more likely to develop impaired tolerance to glucose and diabetes compared to those people who had normal sleeping habits.
- Heart disease
We are all well aware that our heart needs its rest as well as its exercise to maintain its proper function. Too much or too little of either one can have some serious consequences. It’s even been scientifically proven that people who sleep more have a higher risk of coronary heart disease compared to people who sleep the average 8 hours a night. This was revealed in the Nurses Health Study which involved over 72 000 subjects.
This is still under research but there is strong evidence suggesting that people who sleep more than 9 hours a night are at a higher risk of dying on account of some medical condition compared to those who sleep 8 hours on average.
How can you stop oversleeping?
- Make a sleep schedule and stick to it. You need to make a strict schedule which suits you and your lifestyle best. Refrain from using any electronic device for at least an hour before you go to sleep, practice some yoga and meditation and try to relax before you go to bed.
- This is an excellent technique. Every time you feel sleepy jump in the shower and make sure the water is cold. It will wake you up instantaneously.
- Exercise regularly. Just after waking up try to do some low-intensity workouts. It will clear your mind, boost your energy and prepare you for the following day.
- Drink water. A glass of lukewarm water first thing in the morning will keep you hydrated and fresh throughout the day. Make sure you drink plenty during the day as well.
- Stay motivated. Find something that interests you and keep to it. If you enjoy your activities you will have a reason to get out of bed in the morning and it will be easier as well.