Is Oversleeping Harmful?

As a person that LOVES to sleep, I find myself asking ‘is sleeping too much a bad thing’? After doing some research, I have found that there are some studies that show that oversleeping can lead to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. But why? Our bodies need sleep in order to function, so where does it become too much sleep?

Generally, it is said that the average adult should sleep 7-9 hours per night in order for the body to rest and restore proper function. In college, I find it extremely hard to get into a regular routine of sleep, due to exams or papers with hard deadlines, etc. Instead, I rely heavily on naps to get me through the day. After sleeping during the night and my naps during the day added together, sometimes I am sleeping for more than 9 hours per day. But on the weekends, I can sleep for up to 15 hours. The only time I feel completely well rested is when I sleep for about 13 hours. Why do I feel more tired when I sleep 8 hours, than when I sleep 13 hours?

Some causes of oversleeping are depression, substance abuse, stress, fatigue, and sleep apnea. During college, I find myself to be a lot more tired all of the time, especially when I have a lot to do. I think this is because I am extremely stressed out, and my main stress relief outlet is sleep. Although I do not see sleeping when I am stressed to be a bad thing, it can be. It has been said that too much sleep can cause depression and increased risk for heart disease. These are due to the fact that living a sedentary lifestyle is bad for the heart, and exercise/normal daily amounts of sleep are needed.

In a recent study, it was shown that oversleeping can cause increases of inflammation in the body. It was said that with each additional hour that is slept over 9 hours, the levels of inflammation causing hormones go up by 8% in women. Although, I think there could be other factors that play into this cause of inflammation. In women in particular, our bodies are more prone to inflammation during stressful periods of life, and lack of exercise.

After doing research, I still believe that some peoples’ bodies need the sleep more than others. I also think that if you are tired, you need the rest.

1 thought on “Is Oversleeping Harmful?

  1. Thomas John Krieger

    I agree with what you said about how some people need more sleep than others. I personally struggle to sleep. I am lucky to sleep 15 hours in a whole weekend, but I am still able to function perfectly fine. I don’t know about the long term effects of this, but for now I am not having any problems with my lack of sleep.

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