I woke up this morning feeling like I needed at least another hour to feel like I could fully take on the day ahead of me: Classes, then work shortly after, while making sure to do homework in gaps of my day. Then I realized I may have a normal amount of sleep that is recommended for young adults, but then I wondered if oversleeping exists. I know tons of people who love to sleep past noon on weekends, and I’ve always questioned whether their excessive amount of time spent sleeping was beneficial or not.
An article off of WebMD claims that oversleeping is definitely just as bad as not sleeping enough hours. There is supposedly a correlation with oversleeping and serious health problems, such as headaches and back pain to diabetes and heart disease. Researchers have a theory that there are two confounding variables which could potentially be the reasoning behind excessive sleeping: depression and poor socioeconomic status. The idea here is that people who are depressed tend to stay in bed longer than needed, which is where the oversleeping comes into play. In terms of the next factor, the article sees low socioeconomic status as a reason for people unable to get proper healthcare to be over -sleepers too.
The human brain is also considered in sleep, as the brain is crucial to sleep. This article states how sleep plays a role in mental health as cognitive damage is an effect from oversleeping. In addition, the brain does a poorer job in restoring memory with longer sleep in comparison to people sleeping with the golden amount for most adults (7-9 hours).
There is not an official mechanism yet to explain how oversleeping can cause these health issues, but researchers feel that sleeping too much exists and it is not beneficial for us. It’s interesting because for the longest time, I felt like I have heard that I need to make sure I get enough sleep and that not getting enough sleep is seriously destructive. While that is still true, now the other end of the spectrum is also seen to have negative consequences.